- The eSchool Media and Xirrus Innovate to Educate awards program has identified the Florida Virtual School as a community winner for its strategy engaging elementary students in the online learning environment.
- According to eSchool News, the ClassTime model uses live video lessons to get students and teachers interacting online twice per week while students are expected to work independently with their parents three times per week.
- Students can collaborate with each other and their teachers using discussion tools, online voting, chat boxes and breakout rooms, and FLVS elementary principal Sarah Sprinkel said every lesson begins with an engagement activity that helps develop relationships.
An important element of virtual learning is the responsibilities it places on parents or other adults at home. In the Florida Virtual School model for elementary school students, parents are expected to oversee subject area activities provided each day to ensure students get access to the full curriculum. Adults might find it hard to work full-time and still provide this support.
Virtual schooling has received a lot of criticism in recent years, but some students and families can take advantage of the flexibility offered by the all-online environment and excel. Nonprofit models are better positioned to counsel families into making enrollment decisions based on what actually works best for the student in question. For-profit programs, including those run by K12 Inc., have been especially criticized for putting profit considerations first and enrolling students who are unlikely to be successful.