Teacher leaves brick and mortar school for virtual learning instruction

National Online Learning Day

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - September is National Online Learning Day. For many students, and parents, it’s been quite a lesson in patience since the start of school.

Did you know there is a full-time online school designed specifically to teach students digital curriculum? One teacher left her brick and mortar job to become a full-time online instructor.

Traditional learning doesn’t look like it once did. Students now have options, learn in-person, or online. Stephanie Machado left her classroom job to teach virtually through Connections Academy.

“I met with my students today. I had two small group lessons. They got to come in and do some math with me and chat with their classmates," said Machado.

Machado is based in Florida but she teaches students in Alabama.

“All of my students are from Alabama. I’ll travel to Alabama a few times this year so that I can meet with them on field trips, do state testing with them. So they still have those same interactions with me on the day-to-day even though I’m located here in my Florida home," said Machado.

Alabama Connections academy is a full-time online school. It’s designed for students K through 12 across the state. Teachers are specially trained in online instruction and how to effectively teach in the virtual classroom.

“A lot of people, because of the pandemic and what’s going on in the world, assume this is an alternative for a time like right now, but this is something that exists at all times. It’s just like any other school with some added benefits.”

Machado says students are taught the same subjects as ones who learn inside a regular classroom...the only difference is:

"It’s all technology based. It’s tailored to what the students need,” said Machado.

Machado says virtual learning gives students the tools they need to navigate an online world.

“When you’re looking at a school, this is where it’s at. They are learning things not only in brick and mortar but all of those skills they need to get into college these days.”

Preparing for a future that goes beyond the walls of classroom learning.

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