K20 Authentic Learning & Teaching

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Authentic teaching and learning drive the direction of the ALT program at the K20 Center.  The focus of the ALT program is to support teaching in the alternative classroom with best teaching practices and strategies supported by research.

Our subject specific specialists are:

  • experts in their content standards.
  • skilled collaborators working with entry level teachers as well as seasoned professionals in sharing strategies for engaging at risk students.   
  • consummate professionals in lesson design.

The ALT program offers the following opportunities:

  • area colloquiums
  • site specific professional development
  • collaborative lesson design
  • collaborate with teachers to implement best teaching practices and strategies
  • integrate standards with online curriculum
  • strengthening good teaching pedagogy
  • standard driven and authentic free lessons available on the K20alt website


K20alt is supported through the University of Oklahoma's K20 Center, the Oklahoma Technical Assistance Center and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Kristi Adams (Science Specialist)

Email: kristiadams@ou.edu

Our site visits provide an informal intimate setting allowing us to engage Alt Ed teachers regarding their unique classroom environments. We are able to work with teachers in small group settings sharing best practices and instructional strategies. This is also a time for us to share accurate and up to date information concerning standards and assessments. This past year we visited Street School alternative school in Tulsa. Before our professional development with the teachers we toured the facility. We observed students working on community based projects and discussing curriculum in meaningful ways. This gave us a foundation to build upon as we engaged the teachers in our vision/tools session. We were able to give them new ideas to supplement and enrich what they were already doing leading to more authentic lesson development while keeping in mind their specific needs and students. Through all of our travels we have been inspired by the Alt Ed community and their holistic approach to education.

Kim Pennington (Social Studies Specialist)

Email: kimpennington@ou.edu

AltEd Colloquiums provide important outreach activities for the Alt team. After each Colloquium we were invited to visit specific Alt sites for further training. For example, Kellyville Alt invited us to their campus and for an entire day, we did a focused training on C3 standards as well as 5E lesson planning based on authenticity. We were able to answer their specific questions about curriculum changes and PARCC assessments and provided high-quality time for lesson design. Alt Colloquiums enable us to both reach a large audience of Alt teachers, as well as providing a pipeline to specific interested sites who want more training.

Amanda James (Literacy Specialist)

Email: amajames@ou.edu

One training opportunity we offer in the ALT program is a colloquium. I remember going to the Tulsa colloquium and greeting teachers who had traveled two and a half hours and still smiled a “good morning” back. What a great start we had as the room filled with teachers hungry for information and direction in implementing new standards into their alternative classroom. As our presentation came to a close, we were pleased with the outcome and our teachers were armed with new knowledge to use immediately in their classrooms the next day.


As the next few days passed, the three of us on the ALT team received emails asking us to come and share with the whole alternative faculty, the whole district, or with alternative area teachers. Those we had met with were so happy with the applicable content we shared, they couldn’t wait for the rest of their peers to hear the same information.


We are fortunate to work with teachers who work hard, want to learn new ways to improve, and keep going even when everything around them is turned upside down. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to walk alongside you in your teaching journey.