Prince EA’s opens his video “I sued the school system” passionately stating: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
Distance learning has the capability of helping each student based on his or her abilities and needs – the ultimate solution in personalized or differentiated learning. In fact, when the Florida Virtual School opened one of the very first online schools, their motto was:
Distance learning naturally appeals to students:
- in geographic locations that don’t have access to a quality brick and mortar opportunity
- with health issues that preclude attending daily in person
- who are training in athletics or the arts
- who are working such as actors
- who are dealing with personal or family issues that preclude the ability to be in a social setting on a daily basis
But the true beauty of distance learning is the ability to allow a student to take charge of their own learning. This equates to taking charge of their own lives and is very empowering.
As an online educator, our challenge is to help every student reach this point and succeed academically considering their abilities and needs. In particular, we are in a crucial position to help students who are at-risk to graduate from high school and prepare for college or careers. And in the days of Covid-19, teachers who transitioned to distance learning served as essential workers in keeping students engaged and learning — as best as possible considering the uncertain, unusual and trying circumstances. Distance learning is both a safety net and a launchpad! So, before anything else, please take a moment and recognize the essential role you are serving as an online educator.