ALEX, also known as the Alabama Learning Exchange, is a project of the Department of Education. It was designed to index and share a variety of educational materials and information. ALEX is a communal database of lesson plans created and shared by educators. The website is searchable by subject area as well as areas such as technology, education and information literacy. The ALEX website offers personal workspaces, podcast submissions, bookmarks, literacy tips and activities, web links, professional learning etc. The Alabama Learning Exchange website is an extremely helpful resource for teachers. They can find lesson plans, activities, and podcasts to incorporate in their teaching. It can even serve as a good resource for future teachers; I have used it for projects in prior semesters. I highly recommend getting familiar with it now!
ACCESS, also known as Alabama Connecting Classroom, Education and Students Statewide, is a product of the State of Alabama. Their vision is to provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning. ACCESS is striving to allow students, no matter where they are, to have access to higher learning and classes that aren't available where they live. For example, if a student was excelling in their classes in high school and advanced classes were not available, ACCESS would allow them different courses to enhance and challenge their learning. I think this program is great; it gives the students without the funding and upper level classes the opportunities to be challenged that they otherwise wouldn't have.
Both ALEX and ACCESS are fantastic sites. Both programs are based on students' needs and education.