Can Students REALLY Learn Math Online?

mathWhenever I tell someone I am a teacher, they give me an approving look as if to say, “Oh! That’s great.”

In the natural progression of the conversation, they always ask next, “What do you teach?”

Once the word “Math” or “Algebra” comes out, the look changes to one of pity as if I were drafted to teach such a subject.

As the conversation spirals, the final question is, “Where do you teach?” This is the question that shifts the gears of the conversation and allows me the opportunity to explain the amazing work that is done at FLVS. Once I tell someone I teach Math online, it is as if I have personally uncovered the lost city of Atlantis. The many questions surrounding this new discovery start rolling in.

People have said that Math is just one of those subjects that you can’t learn online. Of course I am biased, but I actually believe it could potentially be easier to learn online, if given the right environment. When I took Pre-Algebra in 8th grade, I struggled with understanding graphing because it was something I just couldn’t get. It was something my mother couldn’t help me with and I wasn’t equipped back then with Google and the plethora of resource sites available to help me on my own time. Even though I struggled with it and never really mastered it, the class still moved on. Struggling with graphing was something that I carried with me to all my future math courses. Anytime a skill relied upon graphing, I scored low and it affected me negatively.

Why do I tell that story? Is it to say that the school system let me down? Absolutely not, because I had great math teachers, some of which influence my teaching style today. I tell that story to show how the online environment naturally lends itself to individualized learning. At FLVS, the students are on a mastery-based program that allows them to work on the course at an individualized pace without being a prisoner of time. If a student, like me, struggles with graphing, he or she can take his or her time and work on it until they have mastered it.

But, Math? Online? Really? To these questions I say…Yes, really!!! At FLVS we have amazing instructors who understand the struggle that math brings to so many. Our instructors work one-on-one with students to help make sure they understand. At FLVS, it is not about “sit and get,” but instead it is about becoming the master of the material. Below is a video of a live math session in action. See what it’s like to learn math virtually and provide the confidence to know it can be done…and it’s being done…very well.

Post by Shawn Wigg, Former Lead Teacher and 2014 FLVS Teacher of the Year

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