Virginia Beach City Public Schools remain ahead of the curve with Virtual Learning days

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Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) has turned to a new technology platform, Schoology, for administration, faculty, students, and staff, to implement in hopes that this latest choice of technology used in the classroom will facilitate learning in a more interactive and streamlined manner, as well as gather more specific real-time data.

Schoology itself is an online program that is used in conjunction with the new 1:1 technology that has slowly been introduced into schools over the last few years. Schoology also mirrors Google Classroom and Edmodo, two of the previous platforms VBCPS supported.

According to vbschools.com, the hope for this platform is that students will have the means to participate in Virtual Learning days, in which their teachers post lessons and assignments online for students to complete at home. These Virtual Learning days will enable students to continue learning outside the classroom, specifically on sick days, teacher work days, and weather cancellation days, rather than making up missed time through extra minutes added on to the day.

The program’s first test came sooner than anticipated, as students were kept out of school for four days due to Hurricane Florence; it was suggested that teachers post assignments for the students to complete in order to stay on track and not to get too far behind.

Upon students’ return, it was announced that three of the four missed days would be made up via these Virtual Learning days, two of which had already been built into the schedule: October 8 and January 28.  In addition, students would also use November 6 as the third day. These three days will be considered full school make-up days; however, the students themselves will never enter the school building.

During Virtual Learning days, online assignments will be posted by teachers and students will be given a 10-day period to be complete them, according to vbschools.com.

Furthermore teachers must be available online for one hour during the course of those days.  Overall, the idea is that teachers can still have their staff work day and students can continue to learn and be able to compensate for the missed class time.

Students are still adjusting to the platform change.

“It was hard at first getting used to an entirely new platform, but I have a much easier time submitting work and accessing my school work when school is out or when I’m absent,” senior Abby Frey said. “With Schoology, I’m able to keep up with my work and not fall behind when I’m taking my college visits.”

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