Technology

Supporting Access to Online Education for All

Digital Learning DayToday 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


How Career & Technical Education Changed My Life

CTE_Blog_CoverIn honor of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, I would like to reflect on the influence CTE has had on my life – even though I didn’t realize it until a decade later.

As a teenager, I wasn’t a big fan of school. Classes, homework, and way too much science! I couldn’t stand it.

However, every time I left my rural campus to assist nurses at the local hospital, I felt the thrill of escape and the fun of doing something new. So, for all the wrong reasons, I enrolled in my high school’s nursing program and was quickly on my way to plenty of time not in school. The perfect plan!

It didn’t take long for me to learn my first CTE lesson: there is much more to a nursing program than wearing scrubs and getting out of class. I’d signed up for a daily, three-hour block of anatomy and physiology, as well as an introduction to nursing skills. Yep, my brilliant plan to escape school somehow locked me into three hours of science a day. Continue reading


12 Months of Life Skills for Student Success

Life Skills for StudentsAs we start a new year, educators and parents all have a common goal for 2017 – to ensure that our children have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful for college and a future career.

What if we each set a goal to teach our students one skill a month?

If all of our students put this plan into action today, can you imagine the impact we could make on our future generation?

Today’s workplace values creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills. Managing time, setting goals, handling stress, and a variety of other skills can help students succeed in all of these areas.

Ready to get started? Check out the guide below and set reminders on your phone or calendar to help you stay on track.  Continue reading


Catching Up with a Computer Science Expert

To get a better idea of what Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code is all about, FLVS Content Writer Irene Pynn-Cunha sat down to chat with Amie Ross, FLVS Computer Science instructor.

flvs-hour-of-code-2016Mrs. Ross looks forward to Computer Science Education Week every year. In the past, she’s worked with students both online and face to face. She loves watching mental light bulbs go off all around the room as, one by one, students who thought they would never learn to code begin solving programming puzzles.

“When something works,” she says, “the excitement on their faces, that’s really cool.”

This year, she’ll be helping students with one of her favorite puzzles: a storybook about Santa’s missing socks. It may seem like a simple exercise, but by the end, students discover they’ve just worked through a challenging computer science concept: the binary search.

Mrs. Ross says one of the great benefits of Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code is that participants “tackle very complicated concepts without even realizing it.” In many ways, this is the key to showing students that programming actually is for anyone. In fact, she says, programming is a heavily creative field. “I’ve watched a lot of students really surprise themselves,” she says. “There isn’t just one type of person who gets into programming.” Continue reading


FLVS Attends GOES-R Satellite Launch

GOES R Satellite Blog PostOn Saturday, November 19, I had the privilege of watching the GOES-R weather satellite launch from Kennedy Space Center.

Now you may be wondering what GOES-R stands for. It’s the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, a satellite system that orbits the earth and sends data back to National Weather Service computers. The R indicates what number or version the GOES satellite is on, so there have already been versions A-R. GOES-S is slated to launch next year and is the twin to GOES-R.

Of course, weather satellites get launched all the time, so why would this one be any more special than the others?

Well, right now we receive images of satellite scans every 30 minutes or so. The GOES-R satellite will provide data at least every five minutes, and in some circumstances every 30 seconds! So not only will it be five times faster than current weather satellites, but it will also gather three times more data and it will have four times better resolution. Continue reading


Being Competitive in Tomorrow’s Workforce

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


Happy National Distance Learning Week!

ndlwIn August of 1981, the first personal computer was invented.

Selling for a whopping $1,565 (today’s price would be more than $7,000), it hardly had any of the high tech specifications that basic computers come with today.

It had an 11 ½ inch monitor (definitely not a touch-screen), a floppy disk drive (most people under the age of 25 have no idea what that even is), and offered a black and white screen. Now, imagine your students and children using this PC for homework. The World Wide Web doesn’t even show up until 1991, so they are very limited in what they can use the computer for.

Now, fast forward to November 2016. Continue reading


To Bennu and Back!

osiris-rex-educational-science-posterHello FLVS peeps!

I had the distinct honor of representing FLVS at the OSIRIS REx rocket launch a few weeks ago.

Now if you’re wondering what exactly that means, OSIRIS REx stands for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. That’s a mouthful, right?

In a nutshell, NASA is sending a spacecraft to an asteroid named Bennu. Once it reaches Bennu (after a trip lasting two years), the spacecraft will orbit the asteroid for about a year, find the perfect place to collect about 80 grams of the rock, and head back home, arriving back to Earth in 2023.

It won’t actually land on the asteroid, but instead hover over it – and with the help of Canada and their amazing knowledge of spacecraft arms – will grab a small sample. (To put this in perspective, 80 grams is about the equivalent of 80 Skittle candies.)

So why are we going to Bennu? Continue reading


Let Your Summer Sizzle with STEM

Summer STEM IdeasThe countdown is over and summer is now in full swing!

Can you hear the rejoicing cries of school-age children saying “no more alarm clocks,” “no teachers,” and “woohoo, no homework!”

Ask students what they want to do as they’re just beginning to submerge themselves in summer-break mode and more than likely you’ll get answers like: relax, watch TV, see movies, go to the beach, and chill with friends. Continue reading


Would you look at that?

Appreciate the Little ThingsI’ve recently realized just how addicted I am to my phone.

My 2-year-old daughter is the one who helped me see things a bit clearer. Imagine that? See, my 2 year old pays attention to what’s around her. She sees snails idling by on the ground. Snails! And planes that fly in the sky. She sees happy faces in the clouds and she points each and every detail out to me as we play outside.

All the while I sit scrolling on my phone. Scrolling on my phone is relaxing – I will admit it destresses me and allows me the chance to reset myself if I need a few minutes. So I’m not judging phones. I work in the virtual world – trust me, I’m not judging technology. Continue reading