Friday, November 7, 2008

Five Questions with Andy Ross, Florida Virtual Schools

Andy Ross, VP -- Global Services, FLVS

Once again, the 11th Annual Education Industry Investment Forum presents 5 Questions, its running series of professional chats with education industry leaders.

Today we talked with Andy Ross, Vice President -- Global Services and Business Development, Florida Virtual School. He shares with us his insights on where technology can take education and what he hopes to do with the FLVS mandate.

Florida Virtual School web site

EEIF: What act of strategic investment in the education industry by any player in the past five years do you admire most, and what was its outcome?

Andy Ross I really have to say it is the investment that the State of Florida has made in the creation of Florida Virtual School and its On-Learning Program. The creation of this K-12 school district has served over 500,000 enrollments during the last 12 years. It is proving to be a cost effective solution for students but more importantly it is proving to be an effective means of learning for today’s students. The data supports that results are exceeding expectations. From credit recovery to Advanced Placement courses this is a very powerful solution for education.

EEIF: What industry genre will have the most influence in the future of education over the next five years?

Andy Ross On-Line learning for K-12. When solid content is merged with a solid instruction model the results can be outstanding. The model at Florida Virtual School allows students to learn at their own pace, when they want to learn, how they want to learn and is the ultimate in individualized education.

EIIF: If you could name any industry within education that requires the most change, what industry is it and what changes do you think it needs?

Andy Ross Traditional format of the high school model needs to be reinvented to meet the needs of today’s students. Don’t misunderstand me, though. There are some fantastic experiences in today’s high schools. But we live in a world today where one model does not fit all. We need to have choices for students but most importantly we need to have legislators and education administrators adopt and support a variety of models for their students.

EIIF: What inspirational idea outside of education has had a dominant effect on how you do business?

Andy Ross Use of technology in education and how it can positively affect learning. Over my 25 years of working in this area I have seen many amazing results where technology has made a positive impact on learning.

EIIF: For an education company or for profit school that is looking to grow, what is the one thing they need to be prepared to do before meeting investors or before launching their product or service into the marketplace?

Andy Ross The solution needs to address learning, learning styles, instruction, data collection, and it should have a relationship component to it. The solution also needs to be flexible and not necessarily used during the tradition school day or calendar. The solution needs to address learning, advance learning, and credit recovery.

You can meet Andy Ross and his colleagues from Florida Virtual Schools, at the 11th Annual Education Industry Investment Forum.

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