Virtual Education

Benefits of Competency-Based Learning

By on December 7th, 2015

Competency Based LearningOne of the common symptoms of leukemia is a significant decrease in functional white blood cells.

Which components of nonspecific and specific immunity will be negatively affected by leukemia? Which components of the immune system will remain unaffected?

Can you answer that? My guess is that many of you reading this post cannot answer it AT THIS TIME. That’s because you haven’t been able to learn all of the necessary information to understand the question and process it to result in an answer. In some cases, that’s what happens to students in a brick-and-mortar classroom based on a traditional 180-day school calendar.

Students try learning the preceding information, but the teacher must move on in the lesson to meet the seat-time based school-year plan before each student can master the content, potentially leaving a student without the skills to answer correctly. Continue reading


Internships at FLVS

By on October 15th, 2015

InternshipsSeven years.

That’s how long I taught in a brick-and-mortar classroom before joining FLVS. While a lot has changed since I taught in the classroom, there are still some common challenges that were faced by teachers during my time and are still faced by teachers today – the biggest one being technology.

I remember computers being placed in my classroom and all the information I was supposed to take in at once. I was introduced to DOS, Windows, BASIC, Word Perfect Suite (with reveal codes), Windows, Office, HTML, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc, etc, etc…never ending! With each one, just when I started to feel comfortable using it myself, a new one would come.

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Five Surprising Things About Teaching with FLVS

By on October 8th, 2015

5 Surprising Things About Teaching OnlineAs a veteran classroom teacher, I was both excited and scared when I made the leap to online instruction with FLVS last year.

Like many teachers who explore the virtual school option, I was attracted to the flexibility of online work. Not having to be in my classroom at 7:45 each morning? Win! Not having to wear professional shoes? Double win! There were lots of things to look forward to, but I was nervous too. Would the online experience feel cold and impersonal? Would I actually teach, and would students learn? Would online teaching challenge me professionally? I decided to make the leap, and I am SO happy that I did! I’ve learned that my fears were completely unfounded, and I’ve discovered lots of things along the way that have pleasantly surprised me about teaching and learning with FLVS. 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


Finding Connection in a Virtual World

By on February 19th, 2014

flvs globalAs published in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Students, like all people, want to feel valued and cared about. They crave connection, understanding, and desire relationships that make them feel positive about themselves. Finding acceptance and encouragement at school can often be difficult, but at FLVS Global School, students have the opportunity to not only navigate their education, but to establish great connections as well.

FLVS Global School is an established leader in developing and providing online and blended education solutions to students in grades 6-12 worldwide. It was created during the 2000 Florida State Legislative session as the national and international arm of Florida Virtual School, the first statewide, Internet-based public high school in the United States. Continue reading


Skate to Where the Puck is Going to Be

By on January 8th, 2014

ice hockeyAfter seeing promotions for the fast-approaching 2014 Winter Olympics, I was reminded of when I was watching a sea of icy blue and white at the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I was just in awe of the talent, determination, and tenacity all under one roof. If you really allow yourself a moment to take it all in, it is an overwhelming feeling that almost takes your breath away. As the famous Canadians carried the Olympic flag through the stadium, I wondered if they had ever dreamed they would be honored with that special task in this international tradition that seems to unite the world for a moment in time.

Ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was among the eight Olympic flag carriers and would go on to light the flame in downtown Vancouver to complete the tradition. I couldn’t help but think about the quote he was so famous for which turned out to be the first quote on my FLVS tagline… Continue reading


Can Students REALLY Learn Math Online?

By on December 3rd, 2013

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. Continue reading


Field Trips with FLVS Full Time

By on October 10th, 2013

flvs ft field tripThe Florida Virtual School Full Time program has experienced epic growth throughout the years, doubling in size for two years in a row. This year we continue to expand our reach and will be serving over 7500 students.

As we grow, so does our dedication to overall student success by creating a unique schooling community in which students not only grow academically, but socially as well. Continue reading


Preparing for Rain

By on August 22nd, 2013

1386953_87293749When people hear Common Core State Standards (CCSS), they immediately fall onto one side or the other in the great debate that is Common Core. Many stakeholders, parents, teachers, and administrators are for it, while many are railing against this large-scale change.

What do I think about it? I think at the end of the day, it is change. When it comes to change, no one is truly comfortable. We can believe what we want to believe, but we can’t stop progress and we can’t halt change. Continue reading


Project TAM: Year Zero

By on August 15th, 2013

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of nothing (an idea that is immediately contradicted by having a word assigned to it, which implies something).  And, as Project TAM enters what I’ve been lovingly calling “Year Zero,” I find that the centrality of bringing forth something from seemingly nothing preoccupies my thoughts and the thoughts of those around me.

FLVS was recently awarded the Next Generation Learning Challenge Grant to be used for planning and development of Project TAM, a breakthrough school model that will allow FLVS to provide new student-centered, self-paced, mastery-based, and blended learning opportunities. Continue reading