Category Archives: Online Education


Internet Research and Primary Sources

by Bryan Maxwell, FVS Social Studies Department

Student learning in the field of social studies has been greatly heightened over the past twenty years. Now more than ever, due to the wealth of information provided by the Internet, students have access to primary source documents, videos, audio recordings and so much more that were not available at a time when I was growing up. The Internet has provided a way to enrich the lives of students every day. Not only has the Internet provided a way for students to learn in a truly unique fashion, it has provided educators a way to reach all different types of learners such as visual and auditory as well as kinesthetic.

The availability of this information greatly enhances the learning process for not only those who attend traditional school, but those who also attend virtual schools. For example, those students who may be doing a research paper on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan may wish to reference the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden. Through the primary sources provided by, there is now the opportunity to enhance research by being able to see actual letters written by Bin Laden just prior to the day his life ended. This type of information would not have been accessible during my time in school, and now it is available literally at our fingertips. These types of primary resources and documents are an invaluable part of research and assist students in the in-depth study needed to enhance the learning process.

So, in short, do not be afraid of using what has been provided for us on the Internet. There are so many who do not take the time to use the information that is out there. Take advantage of the wealth of information that has been provided for us, not only when conducting research, but for your everyday learning. At the same time, be careful in determining what is considered to be a primary source and what is just published by an individual with no credibility. Remember, websites that end with .Org, .Edu, and .Gov are usually those that are trustworthy for educational purposes. Lastly, be careful with how you use the information that you have researched. So many times, students want to take the easy way out and copy and paste information from the Internet. As we know, this is a form of plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism, carefully cite the information used for your research. This includes quotes and ideas. A good resource for this is


Mrs. Daniel’s Essay Tips

by Melissa Daniel, FVS English Department

When you’re asked to write an essay in your English course, remember that an essay should always be at least five paragraphs. Start with your introduction paragraph, followed by your three body paragraphs, and lastly the conclusion paragraph.

Remember to include a “three-prong” thesis statement as the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. This should include the topic of your paper, your opinion of that topic, and your three reasons or supports that you’re going to use to create your three body paragraphs.

Check out this website for help with formatting your five paragraph essay:

There is even an example of an outline that will help you organize your essay.

Lastly, and most importantly, DO NOT plagiarize!!! Have fun, and happy writing!


8 Tips For Success in Online Classes

by Doina Beljic, FVS Mathematics Department

  1. Practice good time management. Don’t think that online classes are faster because they are not. Strive to have good attendance, and don’t allow big breaks that will put you behind.
  2. Talk to your teachers. Great interaction with your instructors and peers is a very important strategy in online learning.
  3. Read the courses requirements carefully. When you start working on Performance Tasks in math classes, please read the instructions very carefully. These assignments have a lot of writing tasks that substitute for regular math calculations.
  4. Take e-notes. It is very important to take good e-notes. By doing this, you will be better prepared for quizzes and tests because you will have your own review material. E-notes are available to use during tests and quizzes!
  5. Start with classes you enjoy. If you have multiple classes on your schedule, begin with the one that you like the most.
  6. Establish a workspace. Make sure that your study place is quiet and free from distractions.
  7. Stay motivated. We’re here to help, but it’s up to you to keep yourself motivated and focused on your goals. Reward yourself for small accomplishments each day.
  8. Create your own schedule. Plan carefully the time that you will spend for each class. Remember our rule of thumb: one hour per day per class will keep you on track.

On-Demand Tutoring – New Feature

We are proud to offer unlimited, on-demand tutoring in all core subject areas (English, Math, Science, and Social Studies) at the touch of a button!

Simply click on “Student Support” at the top-right corner of your classroom screen, and a chat window will appear with a subject-specifice, expert tutor who is ready to assist you. There is no need to make an appointment, leave your computer, or wait around for a response to your questions.

Our On-Demand FVHS tutors will:

  • Provide immediate, specific assistance in any core subject class (English, Math, Science, and Social Studies)
  • Perform concept demonstrations using web conferencing and interactive whiteboard tools
  • Review your work and provide remediation guidance and tutoring
  • Be available during convenient support hours (7 am to 11 pm EST, Monday through Saturday)
  • Provide help with technical issues

Give it a try, and please let us know what you think!



Strategies for Success Online – Using Academic Language

by Michelle Schilling, FVS Electives Department

You might be asking yourself, “How can I improve my scores?” or “How can I get better grades on online assignments?”

The use of academic language is the key to success in the online environment. Academic Language is the discipline-specific vocabulary you are learning to understand a specific subject. When answering your online questions, we want you to use the content language you have learned, and we want you to move away from basic, social language. Be sure to use key words found in the lesson when writing your answer.

Here is an example from a journal assignment in ELE Introduction to Art.

Lesson: Relief Prints

Prompt: Why do you think it took four different people to create a Japanese woodcut? Why didn’t one person do all the work like most artists of today?

Student Response: It took 4 people to make a Japanese woodcut because it was very specialized work.  If one person tried to do it like they do today it would either turn out bad, or take forever to get right.

Although this student’s answer was thoughtful and complete, it only received a 50% score because it did not include academic language from the lesson.

Keywords: (The academic language used in the lesson): specific role, trained, master

Sample Answer: Each person had a specific role in the process of making a woodcut. It would seem as though these individuals were trained at one skill, and to be trained in all of these areas would be difficult. Each role takes a certain amount of time and skill to master. I think the methods used were more complicated than they are today.

The sample answer would receive a grade of 100%.

Take care when composing your online responses to include key academic terms in complete sentences, and you will see your scores improve on your daily assignments.

The Gift of Education

It’s Christmastime again!  Sometimes it is difficult to come up with gift ideas.  Candy is gone within a few days, shoes wear out, and electronics become outdated.  Sometimes it is nice to think out-of-the box. What about giving the gift of education to someone you care about?  There are many reasons why your loved ones may not have been able to complete their high school education.  You could give them the gift of GED prep classes, high school classes or even SAT or ACT prep classes for college. This gift and your encouragement could be just what your loved one needs to help them move forward and accomplish their goals.  It will not only help their confidence but will open up additional job opportunities.  This year, why not give them a gift that will continue to bless them throughout their lifetime!

The School Mom

Diplomas and Degrees Equal Better Jobs – Part 2

Economic Advantage to Some Postsecondary Education.

In the prior post, we took a look at recent Georgetown University Study which found that obtaining a high school diploma adds 33 percent more to your lifetime earnings.  The Georgetown study also takes a look at the advantages to having some postsecondary education.

Even if you do not earn your four-year degree, the study shows that having some postsecondary education adds nearly one quarter of a million dollars to lifetime earnings.  Annual earnings rise to $38,700 in comparison to those with a high school diploma, who earn $32,600 annually.  This is $18.69 per hour for those with some secondary education as compared to $15.67 per hour for those with a high school diploma.

Getting an Associate’s degree adds another bump of nearly $200,000 in lifetime earnings.  At $43,000 a year, those with Associate’s degrees earn nearly one-third more than those with a high school diploma.  This is $20.77 per hour.

These numbers demonstrate conclusively the advantage of some post-secondary education even without obtaining a 4-year degree.  This is encouraging news and should help motivate individuals to continue their education beyond high school because even if you fall short of achieving a four-year degree, you will still increase your earning potential.

If the increased lifetime earnings of a post-secondary degree appeal to you, and you haven’t attained your high school diploma yet, then let’s get started.  Franklin Virtual Schools Fast Track program can help you complete high school fast!

The School Mom…