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13 posts from November 7, 2013

November 07, 2013

Alex Sink launches first web video


Dear O.J.: You shouldn't be a Miami-Dade voter. Love the elections dept

by @amysherman1

Looks like O.J.  Simpson will soon be purged from the Miami-Dade voter rolls. Here's what we heard from Miami-Dade elections spokeswoman Christina White this morning: 

"The state received the judgment from the State of Nevada. As such, the department was able to initiate the removal process."

Miami-Dade sent a letter to Simpson "notifying him of our belief that he has a felony conviction. If a response is not received within 30 days of the date the letter is signed for, we can remove him from the voter roll." (Here is the Redacted OJ Simpson File)

It's unclear if Simpson, who is in prison in Nevada after being convicted of robbery and kidnapping, will receive the letter sent to his recently-sold home in Kendall. White said that the law requires that the letter be sent to the address on record with the department.

You can read more about the saga of OJ the Florida voter here and here.


Coming soon to a school near you: MOOCs

It's the latest trend in education and it's coming soon to a school near you.

But what exactly is a MOOC?

On Thursday, Florida lawmakers got schooled on massive open online courses.

The concept is being tested in Miami-Dade, Broward and Pinellas counties, and will likely be expanding across the state.

MOOCs are virtual classes that allow unlimited enrollment.

Students watch recorded lectures and move through the material at their own pace. They typically have little or no interaction with the instructor.  

"It's about open-source learning and innovative techniques," said state Rep. Manny Diaz, a Hialeah Republican, noting that MOOCs are best suited for independent and motivated students.

MOOCs are popular in colleges, and are slowly spreading to Florida's K-12 system.

Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott signed a law allowing MOOCs in subject areas with end-of-course exams, including algebra, geometry and biology. The law requires MOOC providers to use Florida-certified teachers and win approval from the state Department of Education.

Some schools are giving it a shot.

In Miami-Dade, G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School is piloting a MOOC in computer science. The University of Miami's Global Academy, an online middle and high school, is offering MOOCs to help students prepare for the Advanced Placement calculus exam and the SAT subject test in biology.

High-school students in Pinellas County are enrolled in a remedial math MOOC offered by St. Petersburg College.

Similarly, Broward College is offering a new MOOC focusing on college-level reading, writing, and math. Half of enrollees are high school students from Broward County, according to state education officials.

Broward College is working on additional game-based MOOCs that will be available next year.

"I'm excited by all of the opportunity," said House Education Committee Chairwoman Marlene O'Toole, R-Lady Lake.