Opening The Door To New Challenges

Old lock and key
Old lock and key

New challenges in education are on the horizon. I have begun to “journal” our adventure in education.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, Jacob began the process of orientation for his classes. This included “welcome videos” and setting up a call with individual teachers. There also was a pre-test for each class to develop a baseline for the class itself. 

While I recognize the technology we embrace in this era, I still think it to be amazing that Jacob can do his classwork on his cell phone. Videos, questions, and answers, booking appointments, etc. 

Not my first rodeo.

In 1995 I started my first internet company. A few years later I was meeting with a man who was part of our local mentoring program for young people in school. One day over coffee, he said “have you seen this program, BLACKBOARD. I had, but until that day, I did not see a reason. Each day we spoke, I saw increasingly the realities of it. 

He began to develop classes for students. I worked with him for a few years and then 2001, For me, that year was one of the worst. I lost two family members, one of my boys was involved in a terrible car crash and of course, 9-11. My world changed dramatically.  

I lost touch with the project. 

But there was something about virtual learning that has appeal. 

About 10 years ago I discovered a program called ABC Mouse and shortly after that Khan Academy. (If anyone struggles with math, Khan Academy is super helpful. I have coached with them and even though it is a free site, I am a monthly supporter.)

Enter COVID. 

This excerpt is from an article I wrote about a year ago.  

Virtual learning. Homeschooling. Hybrid learning.  



We have learned a LOT of novel words and phrases in the last 9 months or so. (I think it began with “flatten the curve.”) But here we are. And my philosophy is if you cannot fix it, do not worry about it, followed closely by “work in your community” AND “don’t complain” if you do not have a solution or thought process. 

Over this time period, I have watched my children struggle, take victories and prepare for the “next thing” for the sake of my grandchildren. I have spent numerous hours with them and other young parents who are in virtual learning mode. I think I am “more concerned” about the parents than I am the children. But I am looking to add something positive to the mix, because that is the piece I can work on. 

Watching a few children struggle as well as the struggle of parents and teachers, caused me to do a lot of thinking. People have already been stressed over COVID-related issues and school was just one of those, though it was a major in many lives, right below the realm of business and employment.  

And it is getting harder for many schools. Just read the news.  

Before Jacob, his mom and I decided on the school that was chosen, ( I had done a considerable amount of research. (I will share more on this going forward.)  

Admittedly, I am the guy who often needs “connection” for me to feel okay about something like this. And every email and ZOOM call continued to give me confidence in my choices. (Even this morning, I had two questions and I had answers within an hour of school opening.) 

Is it ALL virtual? No. Jacob will be preparing 6 book reports, as well as physical education and health.  

What about the social aspect? For Jacob, that was a significant factor. In the next couple of articles, I will talk about it.  

Today was a good beginning for what I believe will only get better.

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