World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
Welcome Home - We Are Glad You are Here

Welcome Home - We Are Glad You are Here

We Do This Everyday - Season 3 episode 3 #44

Greetings WOL Friends,

Last week we talked about the story of the World of Learning Institute (WOL) and what to expect when you can’t find a teacher for a course your students may ‘want’ or ‘need’. We followed Dorothy down the WOL road. Each chapter outlined the basic operation of the World of Learning Institute. We all know that it matters who is in that room with the students - it’s no different in the virtual world. 

Chapter 2 - Welcome Home

In this episode we will talk with two of our virtual learning specialists, Courtney and Ashley, both Spanish teachers, to hear about their experience in the classroom, as course builders, collaborators, student support, planners, magicians, just all around amazing people. In the dynamic world of virtual learning, creating a sense of belonging and comfort for both students and educators is essential. 

The Hesitation to Call Virtual Home is Real

As we have onboarded 35 districts in the past few weeks, started a full-time virtual K - 12 program called Extended Campus for our IU8 districts, and launched an initiative with PDE and the Bureau of Special Education to get ASL into classrooms, we stop to be grateful that we can support and serve both the students who need a course and districts who can’t find a teacher. 

Without Virtual Learning Facilitators like Ashley and Courtney, who recognize the initial hesitation many students experience when entering the virtual classroom, many might not succeed. The digital realm can be daunting, and students may feel unsure about how to engage with their peers and instructors. To address this, Ashley emphasizes the importance of creating a warm and inviting environment from day one. Courtney talks about opening the virtual door - decorating a virtual locker, even. They encourage students to unmute themselves and actively participate, just as they would in a physical classroom.

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Onboarding, Oh So Important

Ashley also highlights the unique experience of onboarding students who are new to the virtual learning landscape. She takes pride in being the first point of contact for these learners, helping them navigate platforms like Canvas and Zoom. Her role is akin to to rolling out the red carpet to their educational journey, ensuring that they feel welcome, supported and confident - from the very beginning.

We are grateful for each of our facilitators! We now have 53 Virtual Learning Facilitators (VLF’s) to meet the needs of districts in so many areas, not just World Languages anymore. Our VLF’s are the key to the door of welcome - helping students to find their footing as they navigate this sometimes new, sometimes daunting space to learn. 

At the World of Learning - our days are filled with impromptu Zoom meetings, hundreds of teams chats, phone calls, text, and emails. Communication is key in the virtual space. Our VLF’s offer 230+ sections of courses with our traditional World Language and ASL offerings, to Physics, Calculus, General Science, Library, and even STEM offerings. In addition, we have a full suite of courses for a Full-Time K - 12 learners with - ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, and a slate of electives like Music, Library, Art, Health and PE.

The Power of Sharing and Support

A hallmark of the World of Learning community is the willingness to share knowledge and support one another. Ashley and Courtney emphasize that they never hesitate to ask for help or offer to share with their colleagues. This open exchange of ideas and resources enhances the quality of education they provide. They are also very excited about how they collaborate in building live sessions and activities for students. By aligning their live sessions, they create a cohesive learning journey for their students. As they work together their enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm of others, seeps out into the community as they share their resources and support the others on the team. 

We Are Glad YOU Are Here

The most important way we can make students and teachers alike feel the sense of community and collaboration is to provide a warm, safe place to encourage learning. The "Welcome Home" theme resonates throughout our discussion, and day-to-day encounters, highlighting the importance of creating a respectful, supportive, and trustworthy environment for both educators and students.

We hope this episode gives you a glimpse into the world of virtual learning and how it's evolving to meet the needs of students and educators alike. I am grateful for Ashley Herzog and Courtney Bonino's insights as they share the dedication and passion that they and our team of VLS’s have to making the World of Learning feel like home for students, schools and families. As the virtual education landscape continues to grow, we know that the sense of community and support must be part of the core value and beliefs we hold - if we want everyone to succeed.

We are glad you are here! 


If you need help finding a course or if you have a student who needs a full virtual program - contact me.


World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
We do our best each day to be authentic, relevant and engaging in the virtual education space. This podcast will help you see that you, too, can survive and thrive in the new and evolving world of blended and hybrid platforms for learning.
For many years the WOL Institute has provided the BEST in online virtual learning for K-12 schools. We hope our experience in the virtual world will help you navigate and succeed.