Online Learning: A 20 Year Journey
By Guest Blogger on June 19th, 2018
If you asked me 20 years ago where I saw myself in the future, I’m not sure I would have said I’d be at Florida Virtual School (FLVS) as a Communications Specialist. My love of writing came while in second grade when my teacher, Mrs. Kast, told me I was a natural writer, so the communications part fits. But 20 years ago, I did not have a clue what a virtual school was.
Neither did most of the world. Continue reading
Taking a Chance on Innovation
By Guest Blogger on May 31st, 2018
Today, options have become a staple in nearly all aspects of life, so it’s really no surprise that educational options exist in the modern-day student’s life. But how did it get that way?
Well, it didn’t just happen overnight. Education policies and practices tend to change very slowly. Continue reading
Celebrating Digital Learning at FLVS
By Florida Virtual School on February 22nd, 2018
Every year, FLVS faculty and staff attend In-Service Training Days in Orlando. It’s always a great opportunity to discuss educational advancements and explore new technologies. This year’s training was held in November and I truly think it’s one of the best times of the year for FLVS teachers.
Our annual In-Service Training Days give us a chance to “sharpen the saw,” collaborate, and network with other colleagues. (It’s kind of like a very productive high school reunion where you get to see your teammates face to face.) Once you get over how great your team leader looks with her new hair color, you can start brainstorming ways to make your live lessons more engaging next semester! Continue reading
Looking Back at the History of FLVS
By Guest Blogger on January 17th, 2018
I started working at Florida High School (as FLVS was called in its early days) in January of 2000.
My interview was short and sweet…three questions. After I answered the questions, I was taken to the office of Julie Young, our first leader and online education pioneer, for a few more questions and the job offer. Continue reading
Lemonade Stands and Lotus Notes
By Mary Mitchell on November 28th, 2017
Back in the early days of FLVS, we all used to wear many hats. I was a course developer, teacher, district community liaison, legislative educator. Our IT support consisted of one person!
We did a lot of traveling to educate different organizations, schools, and community groups. We would set up lemonade stands at high school cafeterias to provide students with information about taking online classes. Continue reading
FLVS in the Days of Dial-Up Internet
By Guest Blogger on September 26th, 2017
It was August of 2000. As my friends who taught in a brick-and-mortar classroom got up at 6 a.m. to face their first day, I was starting my first day as a virtual school teacher.
I was one of three Personal Fitness teachers and together we were going to change the face of how people thought of PE online. My routine was easy and executed with timely precision. Continue reading
If You Build It, They Will Come
By Guest Blogger 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
The Future of Learning
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
Professional Learning at FLVS in 2017
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
Springing Forward with FLVS Flex Elementary
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.
The inevitable changes that come with remarkable growth in an innovative new program are part of our everyday lives and continue to keep our work fresh, exciting, and energizing. Continue reading