The GED Academy is part of a new breed of educational software. Through their innovative passGED study program, The GED Academy brings a virtual classroom to life on students’ computer screens–a classroom peopled with fellow students who struggle with real-life problems. “Becca Patterson is a virtual student that many people can relate to,” says Michael Ormsby, the Academy’s president. “When she dropped out of high school, it didn’t seem so important to have a diploma. And she had a good career–until things went wrong.”
Becca is in her mid-thirties and has spent her time traveling the country, meeting new people and seeing interesting things. “Driving a truck was the perfect job for me. I didn’t like classrooms. Like to be out in the world, you know.” But circumstances are forcing Becca to rethink her options. “It wasn’t until my back went out that I realized how hard I made it on myself by dropping out. Now I can’t drive anymore, and worker’s comp only goes so far. I need to do something else, and without a GED, I don’t have a lot of options.”
The GED Academy believes that human interest and entertainment are essential to education. “Learning is a process that takes place inside the student’s mind. Engaging students–involving them in the lives and stories of others–creates learning.” Becca’s philosophical, laid-back point of view brings a note of common sense and wide experience to the classroom. At the same time, Becca struggles with technology and basic language skills.
“I never was good in school,” Becca says, “I thought I just didn’t have any school-smarts. Now I know I got dyslexia, and so I have special tutoring for reading. I try to focus on all the life experience I have, you know, meeting people and seeing different things, to help me learn.”
Becca struggles with making new goals for herself now that truck driving is no longer an option. “I need to figure out what to do. I want a job that I’ll like, and something that I’ll be good at. So I have some serious thinking to do. And what we’re learning helps with that too. When you look at it, it’s all about thinking, right?”
Becca’s story is aimed at activating thinking in passGED students. “Becca brings a lot to the classroom,” Ormsby comments. “She shows the value of students’ life experience as they study for the GED, no matter how little they learned in school. And she helps relate learning to real life.” For more information about Becca and the passGED study program, visit: www.passged.com