Florida Virtual School® and Toolwire Win USDLA Best Practices in Distance Learning Award

Web design immersive learning environment provides students “virtual internships.”

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2013 Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming

Combining Florida Virtual School’s subject matter expertise with Toolwire’s experience developing interactive learning technologies, this best practice solution is a powerful way to prepare students for careers in the high demand field of Web design.

Pleasanton, CA and Orlando, FL (PRWEB) May 01, 2013

Florida Virtual School (FLVS®) and Toolwire announced that the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the nation’s leading distance learning organization, has named the FLVS Foundations of Web Design course winner of the 2013 Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming Award – Platinum. This course was developed to prepare FLVS students for tomorrow’s careers by providing them with the real-world skills that they need to be successful in a workplace environment.

To develop this unique course, Florida Virtual School, an accredited, public, online school serving students in grades Kindergarten-12 worldwide, joined forces with Toolwire, a leading provider of online immersive learning solutions. The Web Design InteractiveScenarios immerse students in the role of an intern at a small business called Teenspace. Over the course of 14 modules, students design a website focusing on the company's new community environmental initiative. Each story-based episode delivers course content mapped to the Florida Department of Education learning objectives. Assessments (multiple choice, short essay, etc.) are integrated naturally into the flow of each scenario in the form of “day-in-the-life” workplace tasks.

“One of the things I love about the Foundations of Web Design course is that as students read through the scenarios, they learn high-level concepts without actually knowing that they are learning,” commented Julie Young, president and CEO for Florida Virtual School. “We are excited by the recognition received from USDLA, and the work we are doing with Toolwire to provide interactive learning that paves the way for education in the future.”

Within these immersive learning environments, Web design lab work is completed via a virtual StudentDesktop pre-loaded with Web design software. Students are able to work from any computer (Mac or PC); there is no software to download. Assessments are submitted to the instructor via a "homework" folder in the environment. The environment also enables students to seamlessly upload their websites to the Internet in order to showcase their completed work to friends and family.

“Making it clear to students how course concepts apply to real-life situations inspires intrinsic motivation and a thirst for knowledge. If we are able to spark student curiosity and hook them on learning through these immersive experiences, then our students are much more likely to take control of their learning journey, complete their coursework, and achieve success in school and their careers,” said John Logan, vice president of curriculum innovation for Florida Virtual School.

“We are truly honored to be recognized with Florida Virtual School by the United States Distance Learning Association,” commented John Valencia, Toolwire President and CEO. “Combining Florida Virtual School’s subject matter expertise with Toolwire’s experience developing interactive learning technologies, this best practice solution provides a powerful way to prepare students for careers in the high demand field of Web design.”

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About Florida Virtual School
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is an established leader in developing and providing virtual Kindergarten-12 education solutions to students all over Florida, the United States and the world. A nationally recognized e-Learning model and recipient of numerous awards, FLVS was founded in 1997 and was the country's first, statewide Internet-based public high school. Today, FLVS serves students in grades Kindergarten-12 and provides a variety of custom solutions for schools and districts to meet student needs. For more information, please visit http://www.flvs.net.

About Toolwire
Toolwire is a leading provider of immersive Experiential Learning environments. Toolwire has 15 years of experience and a track record of success delivering virtual desktops and online training solutions to leading corporations and Higher Education institutions. Empowering learning institutions to deliver immersive "virtual internships" across a spectrum of subjects including Business, Health Care, Social Work, Law, Engineering, Information Technology, and more, our online experiential learning tools provide the quickest, most effective way to develop skills, improve knowledge retention, and enhance student success. For more information, please visit http://www.toolwire.com.

About the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
USDLA, a 501(c) 3 non-profit association founded in 1987, is the nation’s leading distance learning organization. Our sponsors and members operate and influence 46 percent of the $913 billion U.S. education and training markets. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. USDLA members come from K-12, higher and continuing education, corporate, government, and military and telehealth markets.


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