Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Virtual Days Make a Difference....

A regular school day. A beautiful summer day. A virtual day. What!?

What do all three of these have in common? More than you think. As the District Distance Learning Coordinator - I see all three of these descriptions rolled into one.

We are off to a great start for the North Carolina Virtual Public School 2010 summer session. Many of the students in our district have chosen to enroll in virtual courses over their summer break. Believe it or not... for many, reasons - but surprisingly - the students are not complaining about using their summer to work. How could this be, you might ask? Simple enough - virtual learning is learning... but in a different environment. What does this mean? It means students are engaged, but quite differently.

I am a firm believer that learning styles play an important role in every student's ability and willingness to learn. Find the right learning style and student engagement is not far behind. NCVPS has done just that for many students across NC. A virtual learning environment offers some similarities to the traditional classroom.... standard course of study curriculum, DPI certified teachers and, of course EOC testing. But, what exactly are those differences that continue to draw the students (and parents) into this type of academic option? Simply put? Delivery. The course content is the same, the teachers are the same - but the method of delivery is totally different. Take the same course title, same course work and sprinkle in online features/functions with many 21st century tools - and “ta-daaa” you have peeked the curiosity of many students who felt simply "stuck" in the normal classroom.

Now, our teachers are doing a great job face-to-face, but as we have all come to realize, today’s students are interested and quite capable of taking our 21st century tools to the max in education. NCVPS offers a different approach to learning – and different tools to assess and communicate what the students have actually learned!

Reasons to take a NCVPS, Learn & Earn or any type of virtual learning course? Schedule conflicts, no access to a specific course needed, credit recovery, or special circumstances that require the structure of a virtual course. Remember… Parent, Principal and Guidance Counselor permission required!

This summer, many students are living out the best of both worlds…. School work, while still enjoying the sun’s rays. Do you ever remember taking Algebra I sitting on the beach? I sure don't!

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