By Jennifer Whiting on July 31st, 2017
It was late 1997. A group of six teachers and four support personnel had spent five months learning about teaching online from any source we could find.
We were building courses in Lotus Learning Space, and preparing to register kids for this new thing called Florida High School. There had been tears, there had been elation, and there had been a lot of supposition about what teaching online meant.
We nervously sat around a small round conference table waiting for the phone to ring after we opened registration for the first time ever. We kept saying to each other, “If we build it, they will come,” but would students really want to try this? The “Web School” pilot in Orange County in the 1996-97 school year drew some students, so we had hope.
Finally, after an excruciating wait, the phone rang. We had our first student! Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on May 17th, 2017
What’s so great about sci-fi and fantasy?
These genres allow us to explore complicated ideas in an intriguing way, and both students and adults love them.
Take The Hunger Games and Harry Potter.
Aside from the excitement of these blockbuster hits, they also tackle real-world issues like poverty, oppression, love, death, and war.
To hook students into the learning process, FLVS tries to find ways to incorporate these types of imaginative elements into our courses to teach and captivate them.
From gaming to virtual reality to medical advances, the FLVS curriculum team is always searching for new and innovative trends that can inform course development. Continue reading
By Mary Mitchell on April 19th, 2017
At FLVS, our growing and learning continues daily! Learning isn’t just something our students do each and every day – our teachers do too.
Our professional learning team is an incredible group of educators who work tirelessly to help our teachers grow and learn so they can all reach their students effectively.
There are all kinds of exciting initiatives rooted in the Professional Learning team that we’re focused on in 2017.
We have amazing team members who benefit our teachers and staff with their commitment to providing stellar professional learning opportunities across our district.
Here are a few of the exciting learning opportunities we have for our teachers and staff to keep growing and learning: Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on March 27th, 2017
Spring has sprung!
For those of us in Florida, this can mean so many different things, from getting back on the allergy meds, to getting the hard yard work done before our incredibly long “heat wave” starts. And you got it – I’m talking about the looooooooooooong stretch that starts very soon and often ends in late fall!
But in addition to all the personal connections to this season, spring becomes a reason for teachers to reflect on where we are with our students and our teaching this time of year.
So, let’s start with time. Right about now, you either have adjusted, or are seriously wondering when you finally will adjust, to daylight savings time. Most of us experience that “falling back” in fall is a lot less disruptive than “springing forward” in spring.
It provides a good analogy, because as teachers, flexibility and positively powering through are a part of being on the FLVS Flex Elementary team.
By Guest Blogger on March 10th, 2017
Innovation doesn’t simply involve throwing technology into a classroom. It requires unconventional ideas, foresight, thoughtfulness, and dedication to student learning. And as the world becomes more connected, schools are making every attempt to help students develop the skills they’ll need to be a part of that interconnected world.
In the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), students are learning in unique ways while developing these much-needed skills through individualized and personalized learning methods, said Sarah Sprinkel, FLVS elementary principal.
FLVS is one of two Community Winners in the eSchool Media and Xirrus Innovate to Educate awards program, which recognizes the unique ways schools and districts are leveraging technology to improve student learning.
By Guest Blogger on February 23rd, 2017
Today is Digital Learning Day!
It’s a day when the whole nation celebrates all the wonderful benefits of online learning and digital literacy.
You know, everything from the cool and advanced technology of courses and anytime learning, to the digital literacy skills that online learning provides to strengthen a student’s learning experience.
This not only includes finding and learning from digital content, but also creating authentic digital content, and communicating or sharing it in multiple formats.
It also includes valuable soft-skills that today’s employers are asking for – like time management and being efficient in using online resources.
While we are thrilled to be celebrating today with other online learning providers, families, and students, we at FLVS have to admit that we celebrate this stuff everyday!
We can’t help it – our passion for online education comes from our awesome students and families who we serve. It doesn’t take long to see the difference we make in students’ lives, and get excited about what we can do next in order to keep our students thriving. Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on October 28th, 2016
The first day I took my son to Kindergarten, there were some chairs stacked outside his classroom in the hallway and I actually thought about climbing up the chairs to “peek in” and see how he was doing.
I wanted to know what he looked like in class, how he did with the other kids, and how the teacher treated him.
At FLVS Elementary, our parents tell us they have learned so much about teaching by watching our first-rate teachers.
Our Elementary program is currently up for an Innovate to Educate award for our “Innovative Class Time for Virtual School Students” and you can help!
By Amanda Schaffer on November 3rd, 2015
In 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
By Guest Blogger on October 5th, 2015
First published by Genius Awakening
Albert Einstein was a genius.
So were Leonardo DaVinci, Bobby Fischer, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Madame Da Stael. That is inarguable. You can probably think of dozens more. Then consider the question: Why are these individuals considered geniuses? By what measure are we making this determination? Certainly each of these individuals has contributed something to our society, whether it’s artistically, scientifically, or culturally.
But what makes a genius? Are the brains of these individuals drastically different from non-geniuses, or “normal” people? Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on May 8th, 2015
More than ever before, middle school math students are being asked to perform at a higher rate in class and on assessments.
Students are learning higher-level standards and being evaluated in new ways with computer-based testing and interactive tools.
New standards expect students to be able to: make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, model with mathematics, use appropriate tools strategically, look for and make use of structure, and look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Continue reading