Long Beach Teacher Uses Internet To Help Her Students

More Mississippi students are taking college courses without actually going to class.

According to the state College Board, nearly 5,500 students enrolled in on-line courses at the state's eight universities last year.

More than 11,000 students are currently taking Internet classes in the community college system.

One Long Beach High School teacher wants to prepare her students for on-line programs.

Bethany Spayde has earned quite a reputation at Long Beach High as a very creative Calculus teacher.

"I use different approaches, such as the hands-on learning, I have an interactive smart board, we sing songs, we play games," says Spayde.

Spayde also works one-on-one with her math students to make sure things add up.

When the bell rings and the students leave this room, you may think that class is officially over. But that's not the case. Class actually continues when the students go home.

Senior Jonathan Szymanski spends several hours after school continuing his Calculus class through the Internet.

"We look at the discussion boards, talk about topics, things we went over in class that day, we have an on-line chat, where we can instantly talk to teach other," says Szymanski.

Students can also ask their teacher questions, look-up assignments, even take daily quizzes and tests.

Spayde set up a secure web site to prepare her students for college life.

"In college, many assignments are on-line assignments and they need to contact the instructors, and many of the instructors don't have in office hours, they have on-line hours," says Spayde.

Students like Jonathan certainly enjoy the benefits of this cyber-class.

"It's really opened some doors where students you don't normally talk to in class, might sit far apart, or if you just don't know that person that well, get to talk to each other, to learn together," says Szymanski.

Right now, Bethany Spayde's AP Calculus Class is the only on-line program at Long Beach High.

If it's successful, she may expand the program to include Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus classes in the spring.