UCF Online Celebrates Milestone | University of Central Florida News

Access to a quality online education is more important than ever as the pandemic continues to affect the country. At UCF, that access continues to grow.

This semester, the university hit a milestone – more than 100 programs are now available fully online.

“UCF has been a leader in this field for more than 20 years, and since day one we’ve been committed to high-quality online education,” says Tom Cavanagh, vice provost for digital learning. “No matter how many programs we continue to add, that commitment to quality will never change.”

Since UCF Online was formalized in 2016, enrollment has steadily grown year after year. Cavanagh attributes its success to UCF’s emphasis on training faculty to be effective online teachers and integrating digital learning into the culture at UCF even before the pandemic.

“Before March, 86 percent of our students took at least one course online or blended every year.

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Will Florida continue online classes next semester? Parents seek answers.

When Maria Balestriere enrolled her two children in Pasco County’s mySchool Online, she did so to ensure consistency.

“Our worry was, are these kids going to be in school for two weeks and then all of a sudden you’re quarantined?” said Balestriere, who lives in Wesley Chapel. “I really didn’t want the back and forth.”

Before long, she found the arrangement worked “really, really well.” Her daughter in particular is able to learn and focus with a teacher she likes. Neither of her children — one in fourth grade, the other in seventh — is clamoring to be in a regular classroom.

But Balestriere recognizes that a return to campus could be thrust upon her and thousands of other families that opted for real-time online classes from home in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

School districts across Florida won state permission to get full funding for the online model for

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Florida teacher goes viral with tearful video about pressures of online teaching: ‘I am at my breaking point’

A Florida teacher has gone viral after she shared her concerns about teaching online in an open letter, along with a teary video to her school district last month.


Terry Kinder, a seventh grade civics teacher in Bellview, explained how she, and many other teachers are breaking under the pressures of teaching online while also having to give standardized tests to her students, despite technology limitations.


“I am tired. I am at my breaking point. All of us feel like we are drowning under the weight of the expectations for online learning,” Kinder wrote in the letter.


Kinder, who has been teaching for six years, Good Morning America reported, was initially hopeful

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Online Alcohol Safety Education Program Available at No Cost for High School Students in Florida, Texas, and New York

– Digital course helps students make better choices about alcohol safety and gives teachers additional e-learning resources during COVID-19 –

The Youth Alcohol Awareness and Education Foundation, Inc.—established by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits to fund programs that support alcohol safety and underage drinking prevention—today announced the AlcoholEdu for High School online curriculum is now available at no cost for all public and private high schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida, Dallas and Collin counties in Texas, and Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, and Richmond counties in New York for the 2020-2021 school year. After successfully launching the program in South Florida in 2017 and then Dallas in 2019, the Youth Alcohol Awareness and Education Foundation is proud to further expand the AlcoholEdu for High School program into New York for this latest school year. The program will be available in these three markets for the next

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Florida Department of Education Taps Pioneering Nonprofit to Boost Entrepreneurial Skills, Mindset for High School Students

BARRINGTON, Ill., Sept. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Uncharted Learning, a national nonprofit committed to helping students develop resilience and problem solving skills through entrepreneurship today announced its collaboration with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and the Florida Association of Career and Technical Education (FACTE) as part of the state’s effort to give more students access to high-quality courses that develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets. Through the program, FLDOE is investing $1 million in entrepreneurial education, including grants to K-12 school districts and secondary schools that want to offer entrepreneurship programs.

Uncharted Learning has been selected as one of two organizations that will share best practices for developing entrepreneurship education and training programs in K-12 schools and tips for completing the grant applications. Beginning Sept. 29, FLDOE and FACTE will host a series of webinars for school districts and Florida College System institutions interested in submitting grant applications.

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Florida education commissioner orders Miami to open schools

A school district spokeswoman said the letter was being reviewed; the school board scheduled an emergency meeting for Sept. 29 to figure out next steps.

Miami-Dade is one of a few districts that started the 2020-21 school year with all-remote learning after winning permission from the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) because of exceptionally high coronavirus rates.

Corcoran’s letter came as a surprise to Miami-Dade officials. The Miami Herald quoted Hantman as saying, “It’s just very strange to me and I think it took everyone by surprise. I’m very much in favor of opening schools but when it’s safe.”

Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, chief communications officer for the district, said in a statement emailed to The Post:

“Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is carefully reviewing the letter received from the Commissioner of Education on Friday. The District was prepared to launch Stage II of our reopening plan, under the adjusted timeline

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Florida education commissioner, board member spar over COVID-19 data

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Wednesday criticized “union bosses” and said Florida has been a model for reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but a member of the State Board of Education defended leaders of teachers unions and called for better data about children infected with the virus.

The exchange between Corcoran and Board of Education member Michael Olenick came as the state continues to battle the Florida Education Association teachers union in court about a reopening order and as school districts move forward with offering in-person and online classes to students.

Corcoran, a former House speaker who has long sparred with unions, ripped the litigation, which he described as “frivolous” and said was brought by “union bosses.” He also suggested union leaders did not represent the views of teachers, who wanted to be back in classrooms.

“When we opened up schools, you know what every teacher

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Florida Changing Rules To Allow Philosophy Majors To Teach Social Sciences In Public School

To be, or not to be – a teacher?

Florida is changing its state rules to allow philosophy majors – for decades the targets of ruthless jokes about the usefulness of their college degrees – to teach social sciences in public schools.

Philosophy majors have included Supreme Court Justice David Souter and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

The change is long overdue, said experts in the field. They describe misconceptions by critics who fail to understand that philosophy majors consider questions more broadly and creatively.

“They imagine people sitting on mountains and uttering cryptic sayings or something,” said Gene Witmer, undergraduate coordinator for philosophy students at the University of Florida.

The change expands the pool of teacher candidates for social science courses, which previously required a degree in social science, social studies, history, political science, geography, sociology, economics or psychology. It also means schools that teach philosophy can now hire

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