Homework Hassles

By on April 8th, 2013

Homework HasslesMy sister is conducting her own personal rally against homework. I don’t blame her one bit. Most of my working-parent friends pick up their children after 5:30 p.m. By the time they get home and eat dinner, they may have one-and-a-half hours of quality time left with their child. Then the homework monster rears its head, which often consists of the parent helping to clear up incorrect concepts. My niece did her share of complaining about homework too. I thought the United States was making headway in educational practices, but from her comments, it seems that rote practice is normal. Are we still in 1900? Continue reading

The Student Data Backpack from the Practitioner’s Point of View

By on February 21st, 2013

DATA BackpackRecently, I spent a little time reading the Digital Learning Now Smart Series whitepaper: DATA BACKPACKS: Portable Records & Learner Profiles. This topic is of interest and importance for the following reasons:

FLVS is committed to keeping the student at the center of every decision that we make. How can we be sure we are making good decisions if we have limited data?

The current process for retrieving the student data we can get is extremely time consuming, lengthy, and really just stinks all the way around. Continue reading

Researching Student Success

By on February 11th, 2013

Researching Student SuccessIn the spring of 2012, Dr. Brian Marchman, Dr. Matthew Ohlson, and Kathryn Haber conducted extensive research to examine the leading indicators of student success at Florida Virtual School. The study examined the mathematics performance of more than 5,000 high school students over a three-year period. The initial hopes were to determine the factors that led to student success including communication with the teacher, participation in help sessions, length of time in the course, and student/teacher demographics. Continue reading

New Year’s Resolution for Education – Quit Whining!

By on January 17th, 2013

New Year's Resolution for Education - Quit Whining!Well it’s that time of year again, when we all decide what sort of gluttony is killing us and try to give it up (at least for a few weeks). The New Year’s resolution is obvious for some. If your couch has more wear than your sneakers, start exercising. If you can’t see your desk through the clutter, get organized.  If you wake up and the bathroom scale says 400, step away from your stockpile of Twinkies.

But what happens if you wake up and find you’ve become average? That’s what most American students, teachers, and administrators will see in the bathroom mirror this year, and my suggested resolution is to quit whining. Continue reading

Giving Students a Voice

By on January 10th, 2013

Everyone has an opinion on how to “fix” Giving Students a Voiceeducation, ranging from the erudite proffers of national experts to the local, hands-on solutions from educators and community members. Education reform is a year-round hot topic that has no shortage of ideas and commentary.

Among the many people weighing in on the future of our educational system, the one missing voice seems to be that of our students. Oh, there is an occasional good news student success story that is shared or an educational-focused editorial authored by a student. Rarely though are there intentional programs to give students a voice in changing their experience. Continue reading