iCampus is FBA’s virtual campus, connecting teacher instruction and student learning in a fully online platform. Having just launched this brand new program, we have encountered many challenges this year. Yet, I cannot help being amazed at all that the program has gained for our students! Most of the focus this year has been on the challenges of technology and the mandatory reliance on computers, the internet, and other devices. However, if we broaden our perspective there are many new skills developed and embraced that are not traditionally as prevalent in physical classrooms. A broad category is personal responsibility. Many virtual students do not have the structure of bells and walls to guide them through a day of classes. They must take responsibility to be aware of the time of day, what comes next, and when to show up, oftentimes on their own. iCampus students have set times to connect via Zoom, and students are responsible for ensuring timeliness by keeping track of a schedule. Of course iCampus provides several tools that help students manage this, but a tool is only as good as the person that wields it, as any craftsman can attest! A second area where virtual students have grown and advanced well is with computer tools. We know that students have no problem picking up a device and learning a new game without an instruction manual. Give them a new program or tool on a computer for an assignment and they are more hesitant to play with it. iCampus spends time exploring and investigating new tools together. Learning is not only about the content! Sometimes we need to focus on how we learn, not just what we learn.
About the author: Jonathan Seabourn is FBA’s iCampus Director and FBA teacher.