critical thinking

Exploring the Legal System with FLVS

By on October 19th, 2017

When students first begin my Law Studies class, they often ask, “What is this class all about, anyway?”

Although I often tease them for signing up for the course before asking that question, it is a valid question. The title of the course, “Law Studies,” is relatively vague.  There are so many topics that could fall under the umbrella of “law,” and many of them are covered in the course.

The most effective way to describe the course, I think, is to explain what it can do for you.  The Law Studies course, through its exploration of content ranging from basic governmental principles to criminal, immigration, and bankruptcy law, helps students develop their skills in critical thinking, persuasion, and legal writing.

Before beginning any kind of legal education, it is important to start with the building blocks of our government.  How did we get here – and why?  Continue reading


Being Competitive in Tomorrow’s Workforce

By on November 30th, 2016

Being Competitive in Tomorrow’s WorkforceThe year was 1989.

We saw the birth of the World Wide Web, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the television debut of The Simpsons, and my epic walk onto the stage to receive my high school diploma.

As I proceeded to college, I used the skills that I had learned in high school: doing research using a card catalog, typing reports using an electric typewriter, and doing accounting class projects that required a calculator, a pencil, and a lot of erasers.

If I were to list these skills on my resume today, I would be considered an unqualified candidate.

You may wonder how a college student with outdated skills became an online technology teacher.

It’s simple, really. By updating my skill sets and being able to evolve with new advancements in technology, I honed the skills to which I am referring. Those skills are soft, hard, and transferable. Continue reading


Seven Survival Skills for Careers

By on November 3rd, 2015

Tony Wagner quoteIn his critically acclaimed book, “The Global Achievement Gap,” author Tony Wagner explores what he considers to be “Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship.”

After spending time with the most successful executives and professional people in the world, Wagner came to the conclusion that there is a gap between what our students need to be successful when they enter the real world and what we are teaching them in the classroom.

As a result, he created a list of essential 21st Century skills that all people need in order to be successful in college, in their career, and for their overall citizenship. Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (3 of 3)

By on July 22nd, 2014

museumEnrichment Activities for Families

This is part three of a three-part FLVS Virtual Voice blog series about enriching activities that will keep students learning all summer long. Part one shared enriching opportunities that can be found at your local public library. Part two focused on Geocaching. This post (part three) is all about art.

This summer, in between the barbeques and fun in the sun, take a moment to soak in the enriching art and cultural activities of your community.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

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Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (2 of 3)

By on July 18th, 2014

geocachingEnrichment Activities for Families

It’s summer! In between the summer camps, pool parties, and lazy summer days, I encourage parents to add one more activity to their summer calendar: enrichment.

In part one of this three-part Virtual Voice blog series, I shared enrichment opportunities that could be found at your local public library.

For part two, I will be sharing another enriching activity that will keep students learning all summer long: geocaching. Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (1 of 3)

By on July 16th, 2014

libraryEnrichment Activities for Families

In this three-part FLVS Virtual Voice blog series, I will share enriching activities to keep students learning all summer long.

As our children enjoy the long days of summer vacation, parents all over the country have been hyperventilating as they fill 10 weeks of play dates, summer camps, pool parties, and weekend family adventures.  It’s enough to make even the most seasoned parent’s eyes glaze over.  As an educator I encourage parents to add one more activity to their summer calendar: enrichment.

Now wait!

Continue reading