A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE CAN BE A DANGEROUS THING
Starting off my USF-FLVS Interning experience was a much bigger transition for me than I expected. I actually mean HUGE.
My background experience with FLVS courses this past year has been accumulated in a most unique way. I realize that it's come about through a model that can't be duplicated by many schools, let alone school systems across the nation. I co-teach with an Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry online math teacher. She is online and I am in a physical classroom. We teach in real-time 90-minute blocks daily. The sequential concepts are delivered in class, with the FLVS content to be read on the students' own. Our High School is a new, highly funded, Innovative school that graduates students with dual Gold Seal Academic diplomas and industry certification in a technical program offered at our parent Public School Technical College.
We follow the School Board calendar and barring absences, every student is in class every day. The students collaborate with the online teacher daily throughout the sequenced lessons.
Thus, in short, my initial inability to comprehend the short, seemingly random, drop-in Blackboard collaborative HOPE sessions. It seemed unnecessary redundant that at the beginning of EVERY class, the students were taught how to use the whiteboard tools. I had hoped to see the teachers' use a variety of intermediate-advance Blackboard tools I finally caught on the the Open-Ended model and, after many question and answer sessions with my master teacher, I do understand.
My FLVS master teacher is online twice a month. There are 70 HOPE teachers who rotate offering collaborative sessions for the students to join. They do not teach content online but rather offer the one of the four to six mandatory collaborative sessions required for Segment One of a Two-segment course. The students can complete the course as quickly or as slowly as their schedule permits. Any given student can be at any point in Segment One during their collaborations. They do not have to attend with their own teacher. This is what confused me the most. The collaborative lessons were generically HOPE-related and not content specific. The object of the lessons was to offer the collaborative experience, bringing greater personalization to the course. Students do not have to attend any of these sessions if they collaborate together outside of Blackboard and submit the appropriate documentation of having done so.
Thus, the new journey begins.