What’s it Like to Attend Arizona’s Best Online High School?

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Arizona is home to many things: the Grand Canyon, the Arizona Cardinals, and Arizona’s best online high school—ASU Prep Digital.

Founded in 2017, ASU Prep Digital has quickly become Arizona’s best online high school, succeeding in bridging the gap between high school and college, equipping part-time and full-time students with the tools they need to earn their diploma, and helping them get on an accelerated path to university admission.

But Arizona’s best online high school does more than that.

ASU Prep Digital empowers students to take charge of their education in a number of ways:

  • Offering 40+ online high school and 200+ online university courses.
  • Giving students the freedom to work online, any time, from anywhere in the world.
  • Introducing adaptive learning technologies that personalize the self-paced coursework.
  • Promoting collaboration online with teachers and classmates using video, audio and text.

On top of being dedicated students, our community of learners are also athletes, creatives, musicians, and so much more.

Want a sneak peek into what it’s like to attend Arizona’s best online high school? Check out the day in the life of Olivia, an ASU Prep Digital junior who has found the perfect harmony between being a rockstar student and a talented violinist.

What Makes the Best Online High School Experience?

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As more students and school districts transition to online learning, it raises an important question: What makes the best online high school experience?

While the answer may vary depending on who you ask, there are a few components that enable students to be successful in their online high school journey. Let’s take a look:

Flexibility

Many students turn to online learning because they desire more flexibility, and the best online high school experience allows students to create a schedule that accommodates their needs both in and out of the classroom. At ASU Prep Digital, students can work anytime, from anywhere, which means more time to learn new skills, discover new hobbies, or get a head start on a future career. Curious about how flexibility helps the community of learners at ASU Prep Digital? Check out this story of Caleb, a senior who is working toward his dream of becoming a drone pilot.

Support

While online high school requires students to be independent and self-motivated, it doesn’t mean they won’t get help along the way. Academic and emotional support are essential to a student having the best online high school experience. Students normally receive support from their families and teachers, but at ASU Prep Digital there’s an additional source of guidance. Each student is paired with a Learning Success Coach who will help them make the most of their high school experience and prepare them for college and future careers. Want to learn more about the role of a Learning Success Coach? Check out this blog.

Socialization 

We’ve already debunked several socialization myths in online learning because it’s no secret socialization is an integral part of having the best online high school experience possible. From virtual clubs and study groups to in-person meet ups, online high schools like ASU Prep Digital provide students with plenty of opportunities to make friends and create long lasting bonds. Interested in what socialization looks like for an online student? Check out this story of Hannah, a senior who has immersed herself in the ASU Prep Digital community.

The best online high school experience gives students the tools they need to succeed in every area of their life—and it’s what ASU Prep Digital has been doing for its students since it opened its digital doors in 2017. Learn more about Arizona’s best online high school here and begin the enrollment process today.

ASU Prep Digital: The Best Online High School in Arizona

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It’s no secret that ASU Prep Digital empowers students to take charge of their education and propels them toward university admission by introducing college courses in high school. But is it the best online high school in Arizona?

Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Concurrent Enrollment

Not only does ASU Prep Digital offer over 40 online high school courses, it also gives students access to over 200 university courses through Arizona State University—and they’re all available for concurrent high school/college credit. Each student works with his or her Learning Success Coach to design a personalized pathway to guide them through high school, into college, and on to a career. This accelerated track makes it possible for students to take college courses and earn credits that will count toward their major while still in high school, which saves them time and money when they enroll in college.

Curious about what concurrent enrollment is like? Check out these two student stories: Alexis and Caleb

Personalized Instruction

The best online high school in Arizona doesn’t just teach its students—it personalizes the instruction so that every student can succeed, recognizing that everyone learns differently. ASU Prep Digital also applies adaptive learning technologies, making it easy for students to move at their own pace and work at any time, from anywhere in the world. 

Interested in how courses work at ASU Prep Digital? Check out one of these course tours from the perspective of a student, teacher, or parent!

Layers of Support

ASU Prep Digital students are motivated, independent learners, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be supported on their journey. From their online teachers and university professors, to their Learning Success Coaches and families, students receive guidance whenever they need it. 

You can meet the staff here.

Student Performance

On top of being successful both in and out of the classroom, the community of learners at ASU Prep Digital outperform students at the other major online high schools in Arizona:

ASU Prep Digital proves that its commitment to providing an immersive, adaptive, and supportive learning experience pays off and helps students accelerate their education. 

But there are so many other components that make ASU Prep Digital the best online high school in Arizona, including: 

  • AdvancedEd accredited and NCAA approved.
  • Implementation of virtual reality and augmented reality lessons.
  • Collaboration with teachers and classmates using live lessons, video, audio, and text.
  • Plenty of opportunities for socialization, including virtual clubs and in-person meet ups.

 

Convinced yet? Begin the enrollment process here or schedule a call with an admissions advisor who will be more than happy to answer any questions.

How to End the Semester Strong

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As you begin counting down the days to the end of another semester, now’s the crucial time when some ‘A’s are made and others undone. Focus on your assignments, work hard and the last day will be upon you soon enough. In the meantime, here are 3 helpful tips on how to end the semester strong.

Stay on track

So far, you’ve been studious, passed your tests and have the grades to prove it. Don’t slack now just because the end of the semester is near. Stay focused on your studies; there are still enough tests and assignments left to skew your grades if you perform poorly. To ensure you stay on top of your classes, keep a close eye on your calendar of due dates, continue studying with your peers and make the time to give every assignment your full attention. Finish strong!

Refresh your study techniques

With summer just around the corner, it can be tough to stay focused while you study for your last few tests. Consider changing up your techniques in order to reinvigorate your studying and end the semester strong. Join a study group, study in a new location or create a game to help you memorize material. If you haven’t already, determine what type of learning style you prefer—visual, auditory, kinesthetic or reading/writing—and try a new technique that targets that specific style. Switching your routine can make learning more engaging and effective. For more ideas, check out Three Study Tips for Online Students.

Thank those that helped you along the way

When the last assignment is turned in, the final test is finished and your semester is officially over, don’t forget to recognize those that helped you get through all the late nights, tough assignments and difficult lessons. It could be your mom or dad, your teacher, a study buddy or even just a friend that cheered you up during stressful moments. Whoever was there to offer a hand, there’s no better way to guarantee their support next semester than to thank them.

You’ve worked hard all semester and the finish line is in sight. Remember to stay on track with your hard work, refresh your study habits and thank your faithful support system. You’re on your way to end the semester strong and set yourself up for an even stronger one next time.

Want more tips to help you pass your classes with flying colors? Check out these helpful blog posts:

 

 

New Report Offers Case Study for Transition to Online Learning

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*This was previously published on Pioneer Institute

BOSTON – With the shift to online education in response to COVID-19 presenting a daunting challenge, a new Pioneer Institute and ASU Prep Digital policy brief offers five important considerations for schools and districts.

“As of late March, at least 124,000 public and private schools affecting a minimum of 55.1 million American children had closed,” said Julie Young, co-author of “Shifting to Online Learning in the COVID-19 Spring,” with William Donovan. “An effective transition to virtual learning is needed to avoid the loss of up to a third of the current school year.”

Understand the level of equipment and Internet access that families have.

School districts should conduct a survey of the families they serve to determine who needs devices and who lacks Internet access. In Illinois, Belleville Township High School District 201 deploys four school buses equipped with Wi-Fi to serve as Wi-Fi hotspots. Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. every weekday, drivers park the buses next to seven parks throughout the town and Belleville’s downtown YMCA, depending on the day of the week.

Districts should also be aware that even families with a high-speed connection may not have enough devices for multiple children, particularly if parents are working from home.

Equip schools for virtual instruction.

If they don’t already have one, districts should purchase a learning management system (LMS), the set of tools that houses course content and provides the framework for communication between students, teachers, and parents. There are more than 1,000 LMS vendors, including Agilix Labs, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Pearson Learning Solutions. Many districts are sticking with basic online options they already use and that teachers and staff are familiar with.

Prepare your teachers.

Give teachers time to acquire some of the basic skills they need to prepare their online courses and practice teaching online.

Principals and school administrators can provide guidance to teachers as they select from the vast number of online lessons, videos, simulations, and activities. Assistance is also available from other online educators such as ASU Prep and Florida Virtual School, which was the first full-time online school in the U.S.

Most special needs students can be served.

The large majority of spe­cial needs students with Individualized Education Plans, can easily be served when shifting to online instruc­tion; however, online education often is not as effective with severely disabled students.

Establish daily schedules.

Clear expectations should be in place for when teachers and students are expected to be logged on. Some schools choose a morning meeting and an afternoon check-in. Others spread the school day over two days, with classes in the morning and teachers holding online office hours in the afternoon.

Consistency is also important for parents. Very young students may require parental assistance with online instruction, and parents are often managing their own work-from-home schedules.

 

“COVID-19 has made clear that Massachusetts and many states are decades behind providing meaningful academic online learning for K-12 students,” said Jim Stergios, executive director of Pioneer Institute. “Having a virtual schooling trailblazer like Julie Young of ASU Prep Digital map the path forward for state leaders is an invaluable resource during this national crisis.”

To facilitate the shift to online learning, states should clarify any confusion around what counts as instruction time for funding purposes and/or instructional minutes requirements. State education departments and school districts should also add pages to their websites that provide extensive information about the transition.

 

About the Authors

Julie E. Young is Vice President of Education Outreach at ASU and Managing Director of ASU Prep Digital. Julie is passionate about students and is focused on leveraging technology to provide them with new opportunities. Prior to joining ASU Prep Digital, she was the founding CEO and president of the Florida Virtual School, the world’s first virtual statewide school district and one of the nation’s largest and most influential K through 12 online education providers. During her tenure, the school served over 2 million students in 50 states and 68 countries.

William Donovan is a former staff writer with The Providence Journal in Rhode Island where he wrote about business and government. He has taught business journalism in the graduate programs at Boston University and Northeastern University. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his master’s degree in journalism from American University in Washington, D.C.

 

About Pioneer

Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.

 

Introductory Chemistry at ASU Prep Digital

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Have you ever wondered how forensic scientists test substances collected at crime scenes? Or how oil spills occur? If you’re naturally curious and always searching for answers to some of life’s biggest scientific questions, our chemistry course is for you!

Introductory Chemistry, an ASU Prep Digital course powered by Smart Sparrow, teaches the fundamentals of chemistry by engaging you through scientific thinking and problem-solving.

This course, like BioBeyond, pushes the boundaries of what online science classes can be while keeping students entertained and engaged all semester long.

Through 24 real-life case studies, nine guided reading lessons, eight virtual lab experiments, and four PhET mini-simulations, you will learn a year’s worth of high school chemistry and the concepts and theories applied to fields such as environmental science, medicine, and forensics.

For students interested in these fields, this course is one of the first steps toward making those dreams a reality.

“I’m quite interested in the medical field, so it’s exciting that I get to learn about how chemistry contributes to medicine and how we use it to treat patients!” Olivia Fish, an ASU Prep Digital student currently taking the course, said.

The course uses adaptive technologies to personalize your learning pathway and provide immediate feedback and real-time guidance. And since we’re in the business of making sure your classes are informative and fun, you’ll earn points throughout the course as you master new concepts. Completing virtual labs and reports, challenges, quizzes, and tests will contribute to your overall score.

When exploring each case study, you’ll take on a role in a team of scientists trying to solve a problem. But don’t worry—we won’t leave you to fend for yourself! As you go through the lesson, you’ll learn all of the necessary concepts needed to crack the case.

Get ready to master concepts such as logarithms, nuclear chemistry, and chemical reactions so you can help test the safety of water sources, detect cancerous cells in the body, and uncover the source of unexplainable diseases.

“My favorite part of the course so far has been the real-life case studies,” Fish said. “I love the scenarios where we’re given patients we need to treat because we learn how to treat them with different medicines!”

This course is designed to engage and entertain you while you discover the many ways scientists use chemistry every day. And for those with a career pathway in mind, such as education, engineering, communication, or science, this can be the first step toward fulfilling grade 9 requirements and preparing for a future college major.

“I would definitely recommend this course to others, especially those who want to go into a science-related field after college!” Fish said. “While some topics might be a little hard to understand or not click at first, don’t give up or force yourself to get it finished. Reach out to your teacher and ask for help so you understand the topic fully.”

Ready to take the course? Check out our course catalog or schedule a call with an admissions advisor to get started.

Looking to add another class to your schedule or start preparing for next semester? Check out a few of our blog posts for inspiration:

ACT and SAT Test Prep Course at ASU Prep Digital

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You’re finally an upperclassman! You’re in a groove with your schoolwork, you have a solid group of friends, and you’re already dreaming about how you’ll decorate your dorm room. While it’s not time to start applying for college just yet, this year is important because you’ll be tackling a few beasts: the ACT and SAT exams.

Your test scores are an important part of your college application and a big factor in getting accepted. The good news is you can prepare so you feel more confident on exam day—and ASU Prep Digital is here to help with our ACT/SAT Test Preparation course.

Unlike other test prep options, our course is offered as an elective rather than an after school activity. This means you will earn high school credit for it and be ready for those exams in the spring. And with the ability to work anytime, from anywhere, you can work on assignments at your own pace (and take mini study breaks to snuggle your pet or grab a cup of coffee to bring you back to life).

Taught by a team of our highly qualified online teachers, this class gives you the tools you need to prepare for every part of the ACT and SAT.

The semester is divided into two parts so you can give your undivided attention to one exam at a time. To complete assignments, you will be using an online resource called Shmoop. As a ‘one-stop learning shop,’ Shmoop offers homework help, learning guides, and, most importantly, test prep!

Do you sometimes feel like your eyes are glazing over because you’ve been staring at the same page for 30 minutes? Shmoop seeks to change that dynamic by combining engaging content with a fun, sassy tone that actually makes test prep enjoyable. They use a range of tools, including exams, practice questions, and other activities, to prepare you over the course of the semester.

We know there are a lot of topics to cover and it can feel intimidating when you get started.

This is why Shmoop begins with a diagnostic test for both the ACT and SAT exams. The diagnostic tests will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses, making it easy to decide which areas to spend more time on.

Your ASU Prep Digital teachers will also provide you with a pace chart to use throughout the semester. These tools will ensure that you’re spending extra time on your weaker areas while still allowing time for areas you’re comfortable in.

These tests are important, but they don’t have to be scary. This is why we’ve created a course that provides you with the tools and support system you need to succeed. If you’re interested in signing up, make sure you’ve completed Algebra 2 and English 10 before enrolling. Look through our course catalog or schedule a call with an admissions advisor if you’d like additional information on the class.

Looking to add another class to your schedule or start preparing for next semester? Check out a few of our blog posts for inspiration: