Call it a blessing or the glory of technology; the days are gone when learning was restricted to printed books and traditional classrooms. It’s the age of digital wonders. The tech-savvy young adults are seen to be unconditionally in love with digital gadgets which distracts and prevents them from achieving a good scorecard in school. To eliminate this negative affect and disarm the young students, digital curriculum has been developed with an ambition of making the learning process more entertaining, engaging and active.
Based in Seattle, USA and founded in 1997, Apex Learning is a forerunner in digital curriculum for secondary education. Apex Learning has a 20-years history of partnering with school districts to improve educational outcomes. The digital curriculum is proven to help districts to increase graduation rates, close achievement gaps, and expand learning opportunities for middle and high school students. From struggling to advanced, all students in Apex Learning are prepared for the next course, next test, and the next step.
The company is committed to innovation that delivers what works for students, insights for teachers, and results for administrators.
The Innovative and Dynamic CEO
Cheryl Vedoe, the CEO of Apex Learning is a software engineer, marketer, and executive for computer companies including Digital Equipment, Apollo Computer, and Sun Microsystems, who experienced the impact of innovative technologies across industries. Cheryl holds a BA in Mathematics from Wheaton College in which she is serving as a trustee, in Norton, Massachusetts, and an MBA from Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts.
It was at Apple in 1992, as the head of the K-12 education division, she first became involved with the application of technology in education. That experience sparked a passion in Cheryl to help educators integrate technology to create new solutions to the challenges schools are confronting today.
Cheryl then joined the founding team and served as CEO of Tenth Planet, a leading developer of multimedia content for elementary math and literacy instruction. Following an exciting period as CEO of Post Communications, an early innovator in email marketing, Cheryl returned to Apple as vice president of education products and marketing, heading up marketing efforts for K-12 and higher education.
Following that she worked as the president of PowerSchool, a leader in web-based K-12 student information systems. In September 2002 Cheryl joined Apex Learning as president and CEO. Drawing on her experience in both technology and education businesses, Cheryl leads Apex Learning’s efforts to help schools make learning more accessible, relevant, and effective for today’s students.
The Unique and Distinguishing Features
Apex Learning partners with school districts with a promise of personalizing learning with the help of digital curriculum. In Apex Learning the virtual curriculum helps and propels the entry-level students to grade-level mastery and beyond.
Courses: Apex Learning’s extensive catalog of middle and high school courses has been developed with an aim to fulfill the needs of school districts for online courses, for initial credit and credit recovery in both blended and virtual learning environments. Apex Learning courses actively engage students in learning, with embedded scaffolds and supports that help struggling students, including English language learners to master rigorous content.
Tutorials: With personalized learning paths and adaptive remediation to address learning gaps, Apex Learning Tutorials are an invaluable resource to help teachers ensure students pass their courses the first time, are ready for the next course, and achieve success on high stake exams.
Success Management: Apex Learning’s success managers partner with school districts every step of the way—from strategy planning to ongoing program evaluation and optimization—to ensure the users achieve their objectives with Apex Learning digital curriculum.
What truly set Apex Learning apart are the results. Three third-party research studies demonstrate the efficacy of Apex Learning digital curriculum. In addition, schools across the country get better outcomes in higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, and improved scores on high-stakes exams. For example, Houston Independent School District increased the graduation rate by 7.5 percentage points and Sarasota County Schools cut the dropout rate in half.
Rising Above the Challenges
Like every startup, Apex Learning also had to confront with some initial challenges in its establishment years. It takes a lot of efforts and time to build a K-12 curriculum company. However, Apex Learning has been fortunate to have committed, patient investors. The company has also benefited from an executive team with significant knowledge of educational technology and experience in the K-12 education arena. Another challenge was to resolve the clients’ problems with innovative approaches which would result in achieving district goals.
Ensuring students stay on track and become well prepared for the future is more than just completing the courses. It’s about making sure that the students are really ready for what comes next. If students complete a course, but are not ready for the next step; they might not be able to pass the state end-of-course exam, end up in credit recovery for the next course, or get frustrated and drop out. Digital curriculum not only supports at-risk students, but also helps in meeting the needs of all students in achieving success by:
Personalizing the Learning Experience
When learning is personalized, teachers become able to focus on the diverse needs of an entire class. Not every student is prepared to learn the same thing on the same day in the same way. Some students lack foundational skills or require more time to master content, while other students are capable of accelerating. Digital curriculum makes it feasible for teachers to personalize learning at a large scale.
Supporting All Students
Maintaining a balance of direct instruction, meaningful practice, and formative assessment, digital curriculum supports all students in mastering required skills and concepts and developing critical thinking skills. Students can access digital curriculum at any time anywhere.
Actively Engaging Students
Instead of passive and traditional learning method, the digital curriculum enables students to share an active and engaging learning platform motivating them to complete their coursework. Students get the opportunity to observe, inquire, create, connect and confirm to deepen their understanding.
“With a foundation based on 20-years of innovation and experience, we are very optimistic about our future growth and ability to continue to have an impact”, says the visionary leader of the company.
Apex Learning has a team of dedicated, passion-driven, and innovative professionals who aspire and commit to make this digital curriculum more engaging and entertaining in upcoming years. The increasing success-ratio of its students and achievements of the district partners are awe-inspiring. This is what compels the employees of the organization to adhere to their creative best in the process of building a brighter future for Apex Learning.