ALEX, the Alabama Learning Exchange, is a community database that allows teachers to post lesson plans online. Teachers can also search for the required courses of study quickly and easily. ALEX even connects administrators and parents of students, so that the parents know what academic standards are to be met by their children. In this way, parents can better prepare their children at home and encourage them to do well in school.
ALEX is fairly simple to use, as it is set up in a very organized form. If a teacher were to go to http://alex.state.al.us/, they would be sent to the main page setup with eight separate icons, labeled Courses of Study, Web Links, Lesson Plan, Search, Personal Workspace, Professional Learning, Distance Learning, and Help. These icons tell the inquirer exactly what information they would need right away. This program is extremely useful and beneficial, especially if one is a novice in the field of teaching. It can provide teachers with templates for setting up their lesson plans, show them which grades should be in which levels on every subject, and give them web links for extra resources. Teachers can even have their own personal, password-safe workspace online to make things easier.
In addition, under the icon Professional Learning, ALEX provides information about special education, English language learners, grant opportunities, and certain tips and tricks that can be very helpful to teachers and administrators. The distance learning help is provided by ACCESS, another useful online program that will be discussed in the next blog.