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  • Special Session Preview 1, May29, 2015
    Lawmakers return to Tallahassee on Monday, kicking off their 20 day special session in order to craft a state budget. Matt Galka tells us what they’ll be focusing on. An abrupt end to Florida’s regular session at the end of April left lawmakers with plenty of unfinished business. Lawmakers are constitutionally required to craft a […]
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  • Healthcare Battle Escalates with Slick New Ad 1, May28, 2015
    A slick new ad in the battle over healthcare expansion portrays Florida Hospitals as greedy and responsible for an increasing national debt. The ad was produced by a political committee called Florida Roundtable, which is tied to powerful Florida State Representative Richard Corcoran of Pasco County. As Mike Vasilinda tell us, healthcare advocates call the […]
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  • Medical Marijuana Could Be In Patient’s Hands By End of Year 1, May28, 2015
    A year long battle to get medical marijuana into the hands of needy families in Florida could finally be ending. And as Matt Galka tells us, lawmakers could be considering expanding marijuana in the state when the medicine rolls out. It’s been a long road for a low-THC strain of Medical Marijuana known as Charlotte’s […]
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  • Amendment One Battle Plan for Special Session 1, May27, 2015
    Three out of our Florida voters said yes to spending an existing real estate tax on purchasing environmentally sensitive land, but then state makers tried an end run, using the money for existing operations. Now, as Mike Vasilinda tells us, and upset environmental community plans to start pushing back. Here’s why environmentalists are upset….they recommend […]
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  • High Tech Hurricane Relief 1, May27, 2015
    Florida could soon be changing the way they tackle some relief efforts following hurricanes and other disasters. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida State University is helping state officials in getting more involved with drone technology. Drones are becoming increasingly popular for hobbyists, but Florida State University has bigger plans.   David Merrick is the […]
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  • Oysters Still Hurting 1, May26, 2015
    Florida oysters from the Apalachicola Bay on the gulf coast have seen a disastrous decline – leading to litigation among Florida, Georgia and Alabama over freshwater use. As Matt Galka tells us, a new federal plan aims to help water flow into the area…and restore livelihoods and oyster production in the state. It wasn’t a […]
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  • Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins 1, May22, 2015
    In addition to being the traditional beginning of beach season, Memorial Day is also the start of turtle nesting season in Florida. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, hundreds of dedicated volunteers protect nesting areas that would otherwise go unnoticed and likely be damaged by unsuspecting beach goers. As the sun rises most mornings, you’ll find […]
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  • Audubon Urges Caution for Beach Goers 1, May22, 2015
    Florida Audubon is urging beach goers to stay out of areas posted as bird nesting areas. Unlike many species sea birds lay their eggs directly on the sand and are often invisible to the untrained eye. Julie Waithmell of Audubon Florida says disturbing the birds could be catastrophic.   “Most people don’t even realize that […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Memorial Day Travel Heaviest in Ten Years 1, May21, 2015
    More Americans are expected to travel this weekend than anytime in the last ten years. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, expect more traffic and a bigger police presence this weekend. The weekend traffic has already started flowing. ”33 million people”  Thats the number of Americans AAA says will be traveling this weekend. Can you guess […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Disaster Ready 1, May21, 2015
    Florida has been lucky since 2005 when it comes to avoiding hurricanes, but every year could be *the* year the state gets hit again. As Matt Galka tells us, state officials are always at the ready. Florida’s emergency operations center was a flurry of action Thursday. Two hurricanes had just walloped Florida. Luckily it was only […]
    Matt Galka

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Online Learning Expansion Options

February 8th, 2013 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Florida leads the nation in online learning offering more degrees over the internet than any other state in the union. As Whitney Ray tells us, education experts met in Tallahassee today to discuss the future of online education.

College Junior DeJa-Nique Frierson hates history.

“I loss interest really, really quickly because I don’t like history,” said DeJa-Nique.

To better suit her learning style she took the course online.

“I’m able to work at my own pace,” said DeJa-Nique.

Four out of 10 college students in Florida have taken at least one class over the internet. Statewide there are more than six-hundred degrees offered completely online.

“Florida is actually a national leader in online learning,” said Randy Goin with the University System’s Board of Governors.

Friday the Florida Higher Education Coordinating Council discussed options for expanding online learning. A previous plan to create a standalone state university for all online classes was scrapped.

“Folks are actually now less interested in the idea of a standalone, brand new, from scratch online university,” said Goin.

The council could recommend appointing one school to take the led in online learning. Education Commissioner Tony Bennett says any type of expansion would save tax dollars.

“This is really an educational economics question in many ways and I think there is probably no better way to do it,” said Bennett.

But not all classes work well online.

Reporter: You took PE online?
DeJa-Nique: Yes
Reporter: How do you do that?
DeJa-Nique: It’s easy.”
Reporter: Did you have to do any exercises?
DeJa-Nique: I didn’t “have to do it.”

Before the state moves forward with the expansion, the legislature and Board of Governors will further study their options. The University System’s Board of Governors will meet in Gainesville next Wednesday to continue the conversation. The issue will also be brought before state lawmakers.

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