Scott Holm's picture

Announcing iQ Academy Los Angeles

Parents and students - we are very excited to tell you about a brand new opportunity for students in Southern California. Today we are announcing the launch of our newest virtual school, iQ Academy Log Angeles. iQ Academy L.A. is an online school authorized by the Rowland Unified School District which provides families with a rigorous, engaging online curriculum and outstanding, individualized academic support.

iQ Academy L.A. is an online high school and middle school for grades 6-12, and is available to students who reside in Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

And the best part of all of this is that there is still time to enroll and complete a full school-year at iQ Academy L.A.! Enrollments are now being accepted, and the first day of school is Monday, September 27th. If you live in one of the approved counties listed above, you don't want to miss this opportunity.

At iQ Academy L.A., students:

  • Can choose from a wide variety of media-rich online courses including world languages, digital photography or web design, all backed by over 30 years of distance learning experience.
  • Get class instruction from teachers via weekly Elluminate sessions and connect with teachers by phone, email and chat.
  • Have access to 24/7 technical support and an iQ Academy email account.
  • Can receive a loaner laptop with the latest software. (Full-Time students only)
  • Have 24/7 access to courses and grades online.
  • Follow the course pace and weekly schedule completing readings, assignments, quizzes and tests, with support from guidance counselors and academic advisors.

In addition to these benefits, parents receive many benefits, including the ability to monitor progress and performance through observer access and monthly progress reports to ensure that their student is on track and there are no surprises at the end of the semester.

If you live in Southern California and are interested in iQ Academy L.A. for your student, visit today!

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Sonya Saatzer's picture

How Do You Take THAT Class Online?

As we enroll new students in classes for the fall, I am frequently asked by families how certain courses work online. As we look to opportunities outside of a traditional classroom, we all naturally have to shift our thinking from what classes used to be like for families, to what opportunities online versions of these classes bring.

For a course like Physical Education, which most families understand to be team sports and physical tests of endurance, I get many questions about how this class can be accomplished online. At iQ Academy, we teach skills that will encourage students to lead a physically active lifestyle. Imagine a PE class where your completion time in an activity like the mile-run does not determine your self-esteem. Instead, teachers instruct on learning how to take care of your body and challenging yourself where you are at. Students learn the rules and techniques of a variety of individual sports and are encouraged to try new things. By keeping a log of their activity, students can see how many hours a week they spend staying active.

For the Life Skills class, families often assume it should involve learning how to cook and sew, but recognizing the challenge in doing those activities online, they wonder what they’ll actually be learning. There are so many valuable skills we develop as young adults and in an online environment, it’s so exciting to see students feel comfortable opening up about goal setting, making decisions, determining right from wrong, exploring relationships and solving conflicts. Issues that are often very difficult to talk about in a traditional classroom setting.

Art class in a brick and mortar school usually involves students playing with clay, drawing still life images and developing a color wheel with paint. Taking art online also requires quite a shift in thinking. In a class like Art Appreciation at iQ Academy, instructors base the curriculum on art history and culture rather than technique. For those with a desire to create, iQ Academy uses today’s technology and the changing workforce as a foundation, offering electives such as Digital Photography, Web Design and Game Design.

I hope that in giving some examples of what a few classes are like online compared to your previous experiences with them, you have a better sense of what you or your student will experience with online education. Choosing an educational path for your student is one of the most important decisions you will make. If the opportunities that online courses bring to your family sound like a great fit, I encourage you to find out more by visiting an Open House.

Visit this page to find a virtual school near you.

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Scott Holm's picture

It's Time To Revisit Your Facebook Privacy Settings...Again!

Every few months or so, Facebook announces a new milestone figure regarding their user numbers. Most recently, Facebook announced that it now has more than 500 million users around the globe, and all signs point to continued growth (some predict that Facebook could hit 1 billion members within a year).

Although this is great news for Facebook, other recent news highlights a very concerning event in which user data for more than 100 million members was downloaded, packaged in a file, and made available for download to anyone who wants it. Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions, you must know that this user information was not a breach of security, but instead a mass-download of personal information that users had chosen - purposefully or ignorantly - to leave visible to the public.

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Jeremy Trotter's picture

Beginning Your College Search: What To Look For During The Summer

For rising seniors (and all other students for that matter), summer is a great time to do some research into potential universities and colleges you may want to apply to.

First things first, if you have never visited a university campus, the summer is a great Online High School Blog: College Search time to do so. Find a university near you and call the admissions office to find out when they are offering tours for prospective students. Even if you’re not interested in attending this particular school, getting on their campus will give you something to compare other schools too. Check out the facilities: dining hall, dormitories, and athletic facilities.

If summer classes are going on, ask if you can sit in on a class or lecture to get a real sense of what a college education is like. Also, talk to people! Most guided tours are led by current students who can give you first hand knowledge of campus life. Grab a copy of the student newspaper and check out the bulletin boards in the student center and library to learn more about campus life. Gather as much information about this particular school and start a file; this is your baseline school, and the beginning of your search for the perfect match for post high school education.

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Scott Holm's picture

iQ Academy In The News - July 23, 2010

Online learning continues to be a hot topic in the blogosphere, check out some recent news items about online education and iQ Academy:

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Sonya Saatzer's picture

iQ Live Summer Edition on July 23rd

Many of you are counting down the days until school starts because you are getting a little bored with all the free time you’ve had this summer. Others are counting the days left of summer because you don’t want it to end! Whichever you’re doing, you’re counting too much!

If you’re looking for something to do to pass the time, or if you want to make sure you continue to live every day left of summer to the fullest – don’t miss out on iQ Live – Summer Edition! We’ve been having so much fun checking in with students from around the country and chatting about what we’ve been up to, playing games for some cool prizes, watching viral videos and of course – hanging out with Mr. T (not the real Mr. T - our very own Mike Thatcher)!

iQ Live – Summer Edition is taking place again THIS FRIDAY, JULY 23 @ 4 p.m. Central/ 2 p.m. Pacific.

If you’re already a student at iQ Academy– check your school webmail account for this week’s link!

If you’re interested in iQ Academy and want to join us for this fun session to see what Elluminate is like and to get to know some other online students, visit to the school in your area and call the toll-free number listed on their website.

See you there!

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Lindsay Smith's picture

Selecting the Right Type of Higher Education

Today’s high school students are faced with more choices than ever when it comes to selecting their post high school plans. For many, the hardest decision is not if they should go to college but instead where, with the daunting task of sorting through all of their college options.

ImageOne of the best ways to begin narrowing the “where” question is to explore what type of college best suits the student. Four-year colleges and universities are typically what people think of when they hear the word “college”, but there are many options out there, including two-year colleges, private schools, technical/trade schools, and special interest schools.

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Scott Holm's picture

Diigo: Your Digital Notebook For the Entire Web

Call me forgetful, but I read so many things on the web that I often can't remember where I found them. Sure, I could bookmark them all in my browser, but I'd soon have thousands of bookmarks to dig through later - no thanks! The good news is that now I don't have to remember everything I find onilne, Diigo will do that for me!

Diigo is a free, cloud-based social bookmarking service that enables you to bookmark, tag and annotate any webpage you find, giving you the ability to easily save resources that you might want later. Everything is saved to your Diigo account online, and is accessible from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. This is a great tool for virtual school students as most of the schoolwork is done online.

On top of centralizing all of your bookmarks, Diigo gives you the ability to tag your bookmarks with keywords that you can use to group similar pages together. Let's say you come across a website with some great Biology resources, and later you find a news article about a new species of snake discovered in the Amazon rainforest. You may want to cite both of these resources on a Biology paper at the end of a course, so you can simply visit Diigo and quickly bring up the bookmarks you tagged with the term "Biology".

And what if you save a new bookmark, but you want to remember later which part of the page caught your attention? Using Diigo, you can highlight parts of a webpage and take notes, so when you visit that page again, you know exactly what you're looking for.

Diigo also has a vast online community where people share the things they discover on the web. If you want to find the best, most popular websites about a certain topic, you can easily browse the Diigo community for the most-saved pages by keyword. The more people who saved it, the more popular (and potentially valuable) it is.

Although I enjoy using Diigo to bookmark all of the great things I find on the web, this free tool is an incredibly valuable virtual notebook that students can use to build a clean, organized bank of the best parts of the web. 

Browser Tools Make Bookmarking the Web Easier Image
It would be cumbersome to visit every time I need to bookmark something, and thankfully, I don't have to. Using the free Diigo Toolbar, Diigolet or Diigo extension for Chrome, you can quickly save bookmarks and notes with the click of a button.

New in Version 5.0 - Images and Screenshots.
Diigo recently release Diigo v5.0, which now gives you the ability to collect and annotate screenshots and pictures. Create an even more detailed library of web content than ever before.

Also Available on the Mobile Web
As mobile devices grow in popularity, more people are browsing the web on smartphones and iPads. Fear not, as there are free mobile tools for Android and iPad that allow you to use the best features of Diigo on the go.

Login Using Your Favorite Services
I wish I had known this when I signed up, but there is no need for you to create a new account just for Diigo. You can get started by simply using your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo! account, giving you one less password to remember.

Check out the video below for other great ways to use Diigo, the free cloud-based bookmarking and note-taking tool.

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Sonya Saatzer's picture

Dispelling The Many Myths About Virtual Schooling

Online learning is a new concept to many, but iQ Academy has been serving students with online high school and middle school opportunities for almost ten years. Undoubtedly, when you talk to other families about the education options you are weighing for your child – you will probably get a range of reactions and opinions. This is especially true when you bring up the subject of online learning.

There are a number of myths out there concerning the subject of online learning and I’d like to take the time to dispel some of the biggest myths we hear about virtual schools:

  1. Taking classes online requires you to just sit in front of a computer all day. Although all of our courses are housed online, there are plenty of assignments that require work away from the computer. From science experiments in your kitchen using basic home products, to taking a bike ride outside for gym class or getting comfy in your favorite chair to write a journal entry – there are plenty of opportunities to step away from the computer in iQ’s curriculum.

  2. There is a lack of socialization for online students. False! Many of our students maintain the circle of friends they made growing up, and iQ Academy provides several opportunities for students to get involved socially on a monthly basis. We recognize that exploring interests and getting to know other students are vital experiences in any student’s school career.

    Local iQ programs also plan several face to face event opportunities throughout the year from baseball games and amusement parks to movie nights and bowling. Check the "Community" page on your local iQ Academy website for a school calendar and listing of upcoming events.  

  3. Online education is the “easy” way out. Many students may spend less time actually “in school” than they would in a traditional school environment, but what’s great is that a student who struggles with one course can spend more of his or her day working on that difficult course. That student can then quickly finish a course they feel stronger in. As far as it being “easier” – that’s just not true. Actually, online learning has proven to be more rigorous than other types of learning because of its independent nature. If you think your student and family is up to the challenge – the rewards will be great!

  4. Online learning is the same as homeschooling your student. Online learning is a natural next step for many families that choose to homeschool, and while it provides many of the same great benefits – there are a few major differences to point out. All iQ Academies are partnered with a local, public school. That means our classes are taught by fully trained and certified teachers and students work towards an accredited high school diploma. Also, students are required to take any state standardized tests. With those being the major differences, many families that appreciate being able to continue their schooling at home while providing their students with a great education and support system.

  5. Online learning is a lonely environment and students have little support. Virtual schools provide support for students in many ways. At iQ Academy, a learning coach is on staff to help guide students and offer advice when they are struggling. Our teachers correspond with students daily via email, phone and Elluminate live online chat. For technical difficulties we have a Technical Support Help Desk that is available 24/7 to assist with internet or computer problems. We have also found that many students who would normally be too shy to speak up in a large brick and mortar school environment feel far more comfortable asking questions of our teacher given the 1:1 nature of online learning.

I hope I’ve helped dispel some of the myths and concerns you may have about online learning as you make the best possible choice for your student’s education.

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Scott Holm's picture

iQ Academy In the News - July 12, 2010

Virtual schools are growing in popularity as many families continue to discover that they have the option to choose the right education for their children. Read on to see what people are saying about iQ Academy and our partner schools.

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