Virtual Education

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

Can Five-Year-Olds Learn Virtually?

By on August 8th, 2013

Did you know that there are seven times more words in today’s English language than in Shakespeare’s day? Students in the 21st century will have jobs that have not been created yet, for problems that haven’t been realized. Our world is changing! Education is changing too! Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is now teaching Kindergarten and First Grade in a way that we could not imagine 16 years ago. Can 5-year-olds learn virtually? YES! Continue reading

Learning Forward – Part 6: Professional Learning Communities

By on August 5th, 2013

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Continuing my series on the Professional Learning standards, today’s blog post focuses on Professional Learning Communities. A Professional Learning Community (PLC) consists of educators committed to working collaboratively in an ongoing process of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.  PLCs are intended to improve student learning by providing continuous job-embedded learning opportunities for educators. A PLC utilizes data to identify gaps between learning goals and actual student achievement. Then, through action research, a PLC develops action items to make corrective changes.  Continue reading

Project TAM

By on July 15th, 2013

Photo credit: haroldito via

Photo credit: haroldito via

Friday found me crying at the copy machine.  As I prepared prereading for my trip to San Francisco, the drear of monotonous copies and collating and stapling proved to be an overwhelming prospect for my mind, stuffed full of words like “untethered” and “ideate” and “platforms.”  I wondered how this boded for my week — overcome by a copy machine.  And, what does “collate” mean for copies anyway?

Sunday arrived not with a roar but a whisper, and by some miracle of heaven Pam and I both arrived at the airport early.  I can giggle a little now at us — two travelers traveling together with a common goal, the mutuality of dreams.  Dreams which almost prevented these two preoccupied travelers from boarding the plane, so dense were the clouds. Continue reading

The Call Center Classroom

By on July 2nd, 2013

Call Center Classroom CelebrationHave you ever been inside a call center where sales are involved? It is one of the most energetic, exciting, goal-driven environments I have ever experienced. One of my first jobs was selling telephone products over the phone and it was an experience that has shaped who I am and how I view the world.

In a call center, you often have what are called “clappers.” Every time you make a sale, people run up and down the aisle clapping devices to celebrate your success. If you continued to sell, you not only got the noisemakers, but also streamers, balloons, cupcakes, and enough attention to make a billboard blush. Continue reading

FLVS Teacher Wins ISTE “Learning on the Go” Contest

By on June 20th, 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Strate, FlexPoint Virtual School Science teacher.

Dr. Strate had one of his lessons selected by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for their Learning on the Go contest.This resource was only one of 15 lessons included in ISTE’s electronic collection of mobile learning lesson plans, which is shared in both an iBook and interactive PDF to educators around the world. Continue reading

Florida Virtual School’s Inaugural Graduation Ceremony: FLVS Full Time, Class of 2013

By on June 10th, 2013

FLVS Full Time Graduation Ceremony, Class of 2013

FLVS Full Time Graduation Ceremony, Class of 2013

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about Full Time Virtual Schooling, especially as a senior. I feel now is a good time to let the world know the answers since I have completed high school and graduated from FLVS Full Time (FT).

One misconception is that people think I wouldn’t know my teachers or have much contact with them. Continue reading

What an FLVS Teacher Does

By on May 6th, 2013

Pictured: FLVS Chinese Instructor, May H.

Pictured: FLVS Chinese Instructor, May H.

“What do you do for a living?”

I am asked this question, I am sure like many of you, many times a week. After I give my response, on occasion I get a puzzled look with the question, “How do you make those connections like they do in the traditional classroom?”

Let’s imagine you are arriving to the most posh and plush resort in the world. You have seen it on television, on the web, or perhaps in person. You arrive and you feel lighter in your feet, the smell of the hotel reminds you of the succulent aroma of spa salts, and you are greeted with your favorite beverage adorned with a drink umbrella. Continue reading