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eLearning Update: Honoring Virtual Ed. Leaders

With the explosion of innovative ideas and techniques in virtual education, it's sometimes challenging to keep up with who's doing what and what exactly is working. Fortunately, the United States Distance Learning Association, or USDLA, gives out awards each year to honor individuals and organizations doing exceptional work in distance learning. The USDLA recently announced the 2010 winners.

The categories are distance learning programming, excellence in distance learning teaching, outstanding leadership by an individual, best practices in distance learning, the USDLA 2010 Hall of Fame, and the USDLA 2010 Eagle Award, which goes out to public official who has supported distance learning. That award went out to Alabama Gov. Bob Riley for his support of virtual ed in his state.

A couple of things that caught my eye: the partnership between the Florida Virtual School and the University of Central Florida won a gold award for best practices in distance learning programming. Last year, they launched a program where UCF education majors team up with teachers at Florida Virtual to get first-hand experience working in a virtual classroom. Essentially, it's student teaching for virtual education.

It also looks like the folks at K12 Inc. did fairly well. Ron Packard, the company's chief executive officer, received an award for outstanding leadership by an individual in the field of distance learning, and K12 Inc. received a 21st century award for best practices in distance learning. In addition, K12 Inc.'s honors earth science program won a bronze award for best practices in distance learning programming.

If you're interested in who else is making a splash in virtual education these days, check out the full list of winners here.

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