K-12

Hello! Learning a Language is Good for You!

By on October 2nd, 2018

Hola! Bonjour! Nín hǎo! Salve! Merhaba!

No matter how you say it, learning a foreign language is beneficial to you in many ways.

When I was in high school (many years ago), I viewed taking two years of foreign language as simply a duty to fulfill my graduation course requirements; that unless I was fluent, a different language wouldn’t benefit me in life. (I also felt this way about math courses such as Geometry; sorry math teachers and lovers.) I would sure love to go back and redo it again now (language, not math).

In no particular order, here are a few reasons why I’ve learned that learning a foreign language is important. Continue reading


Election Day: Go Vote!

By on November 4th, 2014

votedToday marks the end of the numerous political ads, signs, and chatter between colleagues about political candidates (until the next election, anyway). November 4, Election Day… let me tell you a little bit about what this day feels like to us in the policy world.

Today is a day where everyone involved waits. For candidates, there are no more efforts to be made – no more campaign stops or debates. For us policy devotees, there are no more “what if” scenarios running through our heads. It’s finally time to get an answer. It’s time to find out who our elected officials will be. But believe me, the wait feels like forever!   Continue reading


Can Five-Year-Olds Learn Virtually?

By on August 8th, 2013

Did you know that there are seven times more words in today’s English language than in Shakespeare’s day? Students in the 21st century will have jobs that have not been created yet, for problems that haven’t been realized. Our world is changing! Education is changing too! Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is now teaching Kindergarten and First Grade in a way that we could not imagine 16 years ago. Can 5-year-olds learn virtually? YES! Continue reading


Project TAM

By on July 15th, 2013

Photo credit: haroldito via Flickr.com

Photo credit: haroldito via Flickr.com

Friday found me crying at the copy machine.  As I prepared prereading for my trip to San Francisco, the drear of monotonous copies and collating and stapling proved to be an overwhelming prospect for my mind, stuffed full of words like “untethered” and “ideate” and “platforms.”  I wondered how this boded for my week — overcome by a copy machine.  And, what does “collate” mean for copies anyway?

Sunday arrived not with a roar but a whisper, and by some miracle of heaven Pam and I both arrived at the airport early.  I can giggle a little now at us — two travelers traveling together with a common goal, the mutuality of dreams.  Dreams which almost prevented these two preoccupied travelers from boarding the plane, so dense were the clouds. Continue reading


The Promise of Prescription in Education

By on July 8th, 2013

Prescriptive LearningI see many requests from school districts looking to find the magic pill to make learning tailored to the student. Prescription of learning tends to be a common first step that schools are willing to make into the world of personalized learning environments. In prescriptive learning, a path through the learning content is prescribed for each learner based on a criterion-reference pre-test, and sometimes performance on a post-test. This is a common answer to remediating students who need to make up credits, exempting items they know and remediating on items where mastery has not been gained. Continue reading


The Call Center Classroom

By on July 2nd, 2013

Call Center Classroom CelebrationHave you ever been inside a call center where sales are involved? It is one of the most energetic, exciting, goal-driven environments I have ever experienced. One of my first jobs was selling telephone products over the phone and it was an experience that has shaped who I am and how I view the world.

In a call center, you often have what are called “clappers.” Every time you make a sale, people run up and down the aisle clapping devices to celebrate your success. If you continued to sell, you not only got the noisemakers, but also streamers, balloons, cupcakes, and enough attention to make a billboard blush. Continue reading


Road Trip to the Next Exit!

By on June 24th, 2013

Photo Credit: Next Exit History App

Photo Credit: Next Exit History App

About four years ago, Apple launched the iTunes App Store and a little word that never existed in the Dictionary is something you now hear people of many generations saying…“there’s an app for that.”

If your family is like mine, your children are using the iPad (or a similar tablet) more and more each day. My now 5-year-old son was about 3 years old when he first picked up the iPad; it amazed me how he could not read, but could figure out how to play. I am always looking for fun apps that help my children learn without them realizing that they are learning. If you are like me, you are going to love this new app! Continue reading


I’ve Got the Magic in Me

By on June 13th, 2013

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Corp.

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Corp.

We could all use a little more pixie dust in our lives, right? Have you ever had someone go the extra mile to make your day a million times better than it was before? If not, take a trip down to the most magical place on Earth…Walt Disney World. Employees, known as “cast members,” are trained to do nothing but make your experience one you will never forget. When you arrive at their hotels, you are greeted with “Welcome Home” because they want you to feel comfortable in your environment. Everyone seems to say hello with a smile on their face and if you need something, then they will take care of it…even before you ask. Continue reading


Firewalls and Willy Wonka

By on May 28th, 2013

Cereal

Let me start with a disclaimer:  I’m a teacher, but I’m not a parent.  I love kids, but I don’t keep any in the house.  My favorite role in life is Aunt, and yes, I love to sugar them up and send them home.  (I have one niece pushing 14, and three nephews between 11 and 6, if you’re curious.)

Taboos are alluring.  They make you all that more curious about why you can’t have whatever it is, and they make you want it all the more.  I believe that when you deny kids something, you create a taboo.

As a kid, I felt that way about sugary cereal.  There was none allowed in our house.  Continue reading


FLVS Joins Forces with the University of Florida’s CAMP Gator

By on May 2nd, 2013

Photo Credit: University of Florida

Photo Credit: University of Florida

This year, Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is piloting a program in collaboration with the Collegiate Achievement Mentoring Program (CAMP Gator) at the University of Florida (UF). Students from UF serve as virtual leadership mentors to FLVS students enrolled in the Leadership & Skills Development course.

Each week, mentors and mentees meet online to complete activities and lessons related to leadership development, goal setting, and ways to achieve current and future successes. Continue reading