Digital learning starts in Osceola County

Students at academy get a taste of digital learning

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Students at Avant Garde Academy of Osceola getting jump start on state's shift to digital learning on Saturday.

Officials with Avante Guarde Academy invited families to learn about groundbreaking digital learning for students in 6th through 9th grades at an open house Saturday.

Officials said students in Osceola County do not have to wait until 2015, when classrooms across the state will move away from textbooks, to dive into the digital age.

Avant Garde Academy of Osceola is bolstering instruction for students with digital curriculum on laptops to better prepare them for college and careers, school officials said.

The school had an open house for families to come see how the digital learning works on Saturday.

Principal Miguel Mediavilla and teachers  welcomed families into the digital classrooms in Kissimmee.

Officials said Avant Garde Academy teachers use interactive texts, videos, animations and other features from rigorous, digital instructional programs in a partnership with the Pearson education company.

Avant Garde teachers include the elements into their lessons in an effort to make them more engaging and personalized for students in 6th through 9th grade with their own Chromebook laptop.

Under state law, all school districts in Florida will by the 2015-2016 school year purchase at least 50 percent of instructional materials in digital format, but students at Avant Garde Academy of Osceola are getting a jump start on the shift to digital learning, officials said.

"Students today are surrounded by technology more than any other generation, and it is critical we engage, motivate and prepare them for what is expected when they go to college and to employers waiting on the next generation of scientists, engineers and doctors," Principal Mediavilla said.

"Our teachers are moving away from the old fashioned 'Stand and Deliver' teaching model and are working closely with students to help them excel, learn and develop more at their pace and with an intensity we've not seen before."  

The research-based digital curriculum with skills found in the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Common Core State Standards include Pearson materials for reading and language arts, science courses, including works in marine science, earth/space science and physical science, math, social studies courses that include world history, seventh grade civics, American history and geography as well as electives in computer science and health, officials said.

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