By Guest Blogger on April 29th, 2013
For as long as I can remember I’ve had an opinion – a strong one – and a pervasive need to engage others in friendly debate, even for the purpose of persuasion. My parents taught me early that your greatest attributes can also be your Achilles’ heel if you do not harness the positive elements of your character. Passionate can be seen as obstinate if you are not careful, assertive can be aggressive, and confident can be arrogant – it is all a matter of perception. Knowing that, I take my strong opinions and attempt to portray myself as a passionate, assertive, confident woman who never crosses the line to obstinate, aggressive, or arrogant. That is my disclaimer. Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on April 15th, 2013
When people ask me what I do and I tell them I’m a teacher, they almost always ask, “Where?” When I reply Florida Virtual School, I am often met with a confused expression. Then the questions start. Where is it located? How do the students take their courses? How often do you see them? What kinds of courses are offered? Why would kids want to take their courses on a computer anyway? Of course I try to answer all of these questions in the best way I can, but I never know if I get across to people how important online schooling can be for students. Maybe I didn’t even fully realize it myself until today. Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on April 8th, 2013
My 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
By Guest Blogger on March 26th, 2013
It’s legislative season in Tallahassee again. We know that March will come every year, yet every year it seems such a shock to us that FLVS must stand ready to defend its district against those who would cut first and consider later.
This battle is recursive—we do it over and over and over again. But, when you are a space-creator, you must also be a space-holder. Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on March 14th, 2013
There is a reason that I am at Florida Virtual School (FLVS) – my aunt made me take a leap of faith. In 1997, a friend interviewed for Florida High School, an early name for FLVS. When she came back from the interview, she said, “You need to go interview – this is made for you.” So, I went to meet with Julie Young and heard about the plans for this radical new thing called a virtual school.
After being offered a position, I went home and agonized all night. I had a nice teaching job where I knew what was going to happen tomorrow, and I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen next year and the following. This was radical – no one in the country was trying to create a public virtual school. It could fail before it even started. Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on February 21st, 2013
Recently, 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
By Guest Blogger on February 11th, 2013
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
By Guest Blogger on January 10th, 2013
Everyone has an opinion on how to “fix” education, 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