Getting to Know Students in the Online World

Kelli Hicks

When I first started teaching online, I thought I would never get to know my students very well in the new environment. In my previous brick-and-mortar classroom, I was able to see my students every day and was able to talk and interact with them in person. As a result of this daily interaction, I didn’t just know them academically.

I knew about their families, who their friends were, their jobs, and their hopes for after high school. As I started into my first online course with my first student, I thought I would miss out on this aspect of teaching.

Let’s Leap into Math to Learn Leap Year Calculations!

Cindy Bryant

This past Monday, February 29, was Leap Day. You may think that Leap Day is added to the calendar every four years, creating a Leap Year, but it’s more complex than that and requires a bit of math to calculate.

How Do I Calculate Leap Year?

As it turns out, February 29 is not added to the calendar every four years. While it’s true that all non-century years that are divisible by four are leap years, this just doesn’t hold true for century years.

From Exploration through Certification: Career and Technical Education

Amanda Cunningham

Of students who didn’t finish high school, 81 percent say that relevant, real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in school, according to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the National Center for Education Statistics. Gregg Levin, Fuel Education's general manager stated that, whether or not your students plan to go on to post-secondary education or straight into the workforce, the option for career and technical education (CTE) can “open doors for students to have better lives after graduation.”

Making Personal Connections through Online Learning

Kristen Trostel

online learning textMy favorite part about teaching, both online and in traditional brick-and-mortar schools, is the students. They all have such unique stories, with different life experiences, and diverse perspectives on the world.  Some people think that with a virtual education method, you cannot have relationships with your students like "traditional" teachers. Before I started teaching online, I probably would have agreed with them but after teaching online for over a year now, I am blown away with the connections that I am able to make every single day with my students.

Success with Online High School Courses: From Probation to Graduation for More Than 600 Students

Amanda Cunningham

Blended Learning Success

After Chicago Public Schools (CPS) put John Marshall Metropolitan High School on academic probation in 2009, the Marshall staff knew that innovation was necessary to address their problems. The solution was created in 2011, using funds provided by United States Department of Education, when the Marshall staff designed and implemented the Pathway to Accelerated Student Success (PASS) program. 

online credit recovery program at PASS

Since implementation in February 2011, more than 600 PASS program students have earned their high school diplomas and more than 2,000 credits have been recovered through online high school courses.

Is Blended Learning the Same as Technology-Rich Instruction?

Amanda Cunningham

There’s a lot of confusion around blended learning and technology-rich instruction. Many schools think that because they use computers in the classroom they are a blended school. Yet, “blended learning” and “technology-rich instruction” mean something quite different. 

Technology-rich instruction provides educators with a valuable tool to reinforce lessons, but the technology in itself does not facilitate student learning.

Blended learning, on the other hand, leverages technology to give each and every student a more personalized learning experience. Blended learning has been defined as a "formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace, at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home, and the modalities along each student's path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience."

Online Credit Recovery: Achieving a 100% Graduation Rate in California

Amanda Cunningham

With a focus on keeping students in school, on track, and on target to graduate, Williams Junior Senior High School was able to achieve outstanding results with their online credit recovery program: a one hundred percent graduation rate.  Of the 360 students who entered as freshmen in the fall of 2011, all of them graduated in May 2015. Further, as of June 2015, there were no students in Williams Junior Senior High School that were credit deficient, and all but one junior high student were promoted to high school.


Successful Online ELL Support for an International Ballet Student

Mike Gray

The following is a story that Mike wrote to show how important an online education can be to a young student who needs a non-traditional path to education, especially through the use of online ELL (English language learner) support.

Jinny is a ballet student who has been accepted to an elite ballet boarding school in Florida. Jinny is arriving three weeks late into the school year, so she is already going to be facing the challenge of catching up with her peers. She will also be learning a new culture, working to master English as a second language, making new friends, dealing with homesickness, and, of course—there will be plenty of dance. She will be taking several of her courses online through Fuel Education teachers in order to accommodate the rigorous curriculum—a combination of ballet and academics—that she will be following, in addition to much online ELL support.

Why Blended Learning? Answers from Our Chicago Blended Learning Leaders Forum

Bobby Offterdinger

Truly, nothing can stop a dedicated teacher. This held true on November 19, 2015, as not even the gusty 30 mile-per-hour Chicago winds could drive off the innovative educators who came to meet for FuelEd’s first Blended Learning Leaders Forum (BLLF) of the 2015–2016 school year. Leaders from all around Illinois bundled up and braved the weather to meet for a lively, collaborative event at the Marriott Blackstone to discuss best practices in implementing blended learning programs.