MBL's Best Of The Web

Virtual School 101

Virtual School 101
Updated: December 5, 2020
Posted In: Best Of The Web

Editor's Note

My teenager is back to school. In the literal sense. He attends a small school, has his temperature taken upon arrival, wears a mask all day and socially distances (As much as teenagers can). Do I feel he's safe? I do! I feel he's better off in school than at home. His mental health needs it. And all joking aside. Mine does too. 

We had to virtual learn/homeschool at the end of last year because of school closings. It was brutal. I love math, he hates math, but my math knowledge is OLD math. There was no way I could teach him math. We spoke German around the house to keep up his vocabulary, but my German grammar is atrocious. He passed his freshman year and I survived 2 months of homeschooling. We'd both like to avoid any future attempts.  

Many student in our area will be doing virtual learning this school year. That means, that although they have access to teachers, parents will still need to be actively involved.  This is a great post that will help understand the process. Thanks Stacy! God bless all of the teachers, parents and students that are learning a new way this year.  

Paula Henry  - MBL Founder

Virtual School

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 418. (0:27)

Stacy is super excited to welcome back a guest to the show, although no stranger to the show, Sarah’s mom – Patsy.

Like most shows, this topic was selected out of a real-life question that Stacy is facing.

Sarah has insider information on this topic, and Stacy told Sarah that she has to share this wealth of information.

Many listeners are starting this process for the first time, but Sarah’s mom has been teaching for a very long time.

Her expertise is much needed!

This was very fun for Sarah to have her mom on the show and to shop talk.

Sarah’s mom has been a distance education virtual school teacher for most of the last twenty-seven years.

She has been an amazing resource for Sarah’s family as they have navigated this new environment.

Patsy has a lot of valuable information to share with our listeners because this is such a new area we are navigating.

One thing that Patsy wanted to note is that she will be sharing information from her experience, but does not represent any particular educational institutions.

Patsy feels very honored to be able to share this information.

Stacy’s kids do not start school until September 8 and is currently in complete denial.

Big Shout Out

We are going to talk a lot about the perception of students and what it is like for parents. (5:22)

However, Stacy wants to give a shout out to all the teachers who didn’t sign up to be distance learning teachers and who are now trying to make the most of it.

Patsy echoed her appreciation and excitement for how teachers are rising to meet the challenges.

Sarah saw an estimate that approximately one billion students will be going to school in a virtual environment this fall, globally.

Patsy shared a bit about what happened during the last pandemic in 1918 and the differences we face now.

Things have changed so much since Patsy started her career in virtual distance learning, the resources alone have completely changed.

Technology has gotten to the point where it can disappear, and everyone can simply focus on learning.

We are primed to embrace the solution.

And we have a lot of things going for us in a really positive way.


Patsy broke down the vocabulary around distance education. (9:24)

Correspondance school was one of the first phrases used in America in 1728.

This was when business correspondence courses became available.

Distance education appeared in the literature in 1892 and this was through the University of Wisconsin.

In Florida, they started using the term virtual schools about twenty to thirty years ago.

Then we gradually got into using the term online learning, which is the term that we are switching to.

For about ten years we played with the term distributed learning, which was never picked up.

Now the general term that we use is online learning, but we are still switching between this phrase and distance education.




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