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  • WOWSA!

    Filed at 4:59 pm under by dcobranchi

    Ooooo! K12 can update its website in under 2 months:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2006
    Contact: Jeff Kwitowski
    jkwitowski@k12.com or (703) 483-7281

    K12 Inc. Completes Modifications in Science Curriculum to
    Reflect Pluto’s New Status

    Online curriculum provider sets a new standard as one of the first publishers to change its science curriculum to reflect Pluto’s new status as a “dwarf planet”

    Herndon, VA- Since the International Astronomical Union (IAU) vote on August 24, 2006 to change Pluto’s status as a planet, teachers and curriculum supervisors across the country have scrambled to get the most accurate, up-to-date information for their students. However, that is not a concern for the hundreds of teachers and over 25,000 students who are using the innovative, web-based K12 curriculum in schools across the country.

    Today, K12 Inc., a leading provider of high-quality curriculum and academic services, announced that they are one of the first education publishers to complete all the modifications to its science program in every grade to reflect the IAU’s new classification for Pluto as a “dwarf planet.” The teachers, students and families in schools using the K12 curriculum were notified of the updates to the science curriculum and can now access the most accurate information about our solar system through the K12 Online School.

    After hearing the news of the IAU’s decision, the K12 science team immediately set out to make the changes to the K12 Online School, electronically updating the text and graphics in the science curriculum.

    “This is a significant accomplishment for K12 since most publishers change their products every five to seven years,” said Mary Catherine Desrosiers, K12’s Vice-President of Product Development. “Because K12 has developed a powerful, web-based learning program delivered through K12 Online School, we are able to make the changes to our science curriculum in real time and quickly distribute the new information to the teachers, students and schools we serve.”

    Desrosiers added, “Science teachers often note that science is not carved in stone. As new information becomes available, and as new discoveries are made, science changes. The science team at K12 has effectively responded to the ever-shifting field of science by literally rewriting the curriculum in the K12 Online School with great speed so that students receive the latest scientific information.”

    The following is an example of one of the text changes:

    Old Version: [The planets] differ widely in size as well as distance from the sun. The largest is Jupiter; the smallest is Pluto. Pluto is so small and its orbit so different that scientists debate whether it should be considered a planet at all. However, traditionally it has been known as one. Its orbit is far from circular. Sometimes it even dips closer to the sun than Neptune’s orbit, making Neptune the farthest planet at times.

    New Version: [The planets] differ widely in size as well as distance from the sun. The largest is Jupiter; the smallest is Mercury. Pluto is so small and its orbit so different that scientists debate whether it should be considered a planet at all. However, in 2006 scientists determined that Pluto should be considered a “dwarf planet.”

    About K12 Inc.

    K12 Inc. is a leading provider of high quality education programs and academic services. K12 has developed a comprehensive, research-based learning program in traditional subjects, including curriculum, tools, materials and an innovative lesson delivery system. The K12 core curriculum covers the subjects of English/Language Arts, Math, Science, History, Art, and Music.

    Central to the K12 learning program is the Online School (OLS), which hosts over 10,000 interactive, engaging and comprehensive lessons presented in a mix of printed and multimedia forms. The Online School also includes lesson assessments, planning and progress tools, and an attendance tracking system to determine the number of instructional hours completed by the student.

    The K12 learning program is used by over 25,000 students across the country in a variety of public schools, including traditional schools and classrooms, public virtual (online) schools, and other education settings. There are currently 13 states and three major cities (Chicago, Houston, and Washington, DC) with public virtual schools that use the K12 curriculum.

    I hope they didn’t pull any muscles patting themselves on the back.

    This silly press release does point out one of the advantages of online texts relative to the dead-tree version. It’s a whole lot quicker and (almost) infinitely cheaper to update a website than it is to print a new edition.

    Of course, I just updated my website in five minutes.

    2 Responses to “WOWSA!”

    Comment by
    September 29th, 2006
    at 5:40 pm

    And I just told my kids about the change in Pluto’s status, and we talked about it. Mom 4.0 has instant updates.

    Comment by
    September 30th, 2006
    at 7:54 am

    I didn’t even have to tell them — they read it online. I can update so fast that the information seems not to pass through me at all!