Monday, October 6, 2014

Mr. Hefley and Mr. Plasil have been interviewed. They have been teaching science in KIS the last year. However, this year they support the QVS online services. I tried to find out what are their new responsibilities and their feelings about their new positions.

Hello Mr. Hefley.

Mr. Hefley
Hello Pasha, nice to meet you again.

Thank you. Let me ask you several questions. Firstly, what are your new responsibilities?

Well, technically speaking, my new title is QSI virtual learning support. I have several things that I’m responsible for in two different ares. One is I teach 3 online classes: Ap bio, bio, and environmental studies. And so I have to prepare for those classes and follow up the curriculum and track the progress of my students. That’s on one side

, and on the other, I am responsible for teachers training. Mainly moodle. So, every QSI school has its own website. I am the one who is responsible for maintaining and developing these websites. 
In addition, I am responsible for training teachers how to use these websites. A lot of what I do is basically online. And then, with regard to the training, I do, webinars - virtual training. But then, I also do an on sight training, where I travel to different schools. For instance, couple of weeks ago I was in Sarajevo. This evening, as a matter of fact, I go to Tbilisi, Georgia. I will train teachers there. At the end of the month I have to go to Ljubljana, and then in November, Im going to travel to China, then to Thailand, and then to Bratislava. After all the business trips I will return to Kiev where I will continue working online.

Are you exited about visiting so many places?

Im exited about it, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. But I will be very tired by the end of the journey as well. But in general, I enjoy my job.

Where do your students come from?

I have 3 students from Yerevan, I believe I had a student from Tbilisi. I also have two students from Venezuela. Oddly enough, I used to teach one of them in elementary school. Sometimes, when I think about it, it makes me feel very old. I also have a students from Belize,Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Thailand. Since I have students from so many countries, sometimes it is difficult to figure out the time when I can make conferences with them, because everybody lives in a different time zone.

Do you think that’s a good idea to study online the subjects you want, or it’s better to study subjects that are offered in school?

Well, if a subject is offered in the school, I would recommend to take it in a basic class. It is a 21st century however, and more and more students are taking online classes. And especially, when you graduate, when you go to college, I guarantee you that you will take at least one online class, and then probable, more then likely, many. So right now, I would recommend that if school is not offering a particular class, then, I think, you should take it online. I think that every student right now, in the high school, should graduate with at least having taken one online class. Because as I’ve said, when you go to college, you are going to be exposed more to it a lot more.

Alright, thank you Mr. Hefley.

Let’s now move on to Mr. Plasil. Hello Mr. Plasil
Mr. Plasil

Hello Pasha.

Is it a good idea for teenagers to take online classes?

Students, especially if they are teenagers, have a difficult time taking online courses. Even when I took online classes as an adult, I had a hard time. After the work day it was difficult to come home and make myself study. So we try to make sure that teenage online students have a period scheduled every day for that online course, to study it at school, within a regular class schedule. But there still needs to be a person monitoring them. Otherwise they use computer and go to Facebook, and read news… I think soon Mr. Helfey and I will have this new responsibility for us to watch KIS online students. Because right now, they are basically assigned in safety netting course. 

What are your responsibilities?

My first responsibility is to teach online classes. I teach three usual online classes. However, I do not have any AP classes. I want to develop AP physics next year though. 

From my experience, online AP courses do not go that well. What about QVS?

We did not have a good experience with AP courses being offered last year. So we dropped most of the AP courses we were offering, except AP biology (taught by Mr. Hefley) and AP art history. Okay, so that was one of my responsibilities. The other responsibility is that I administer this virtual school for the entire QSI system. Right now, I’m an officer representative. So half of my day, I do paper work, where I enrol students in my online courses, and other paperwork. I am also a director of instruction in QSI virtual school. So I have to make sure that the grades get in on time. I do exactly the same job as Mrs. Bogush right now for KIS. I have the QVS grade program, where all of the grades and units go into. Also, I have to manually put a grade for every single unit, for every single QVS student. The number of students taking online courses is approximately 140. So it is 1400 units. 
Mr. Snyder was the director of QVS school last year. And after he left, his job was divided into 4 different positions. That’s how much work he was doing. But I think that mine and Mr. Hefley’s job could be also divided into several full times positions. At least right now. I feel like a fireman sometimes. There is a fire starting everywhere and I have to put it out everywhere. For instance, there is a parent-teacher conference soon, and so I have to put all of the grades. That is what I am doing today. And then a new units starts, and so I have to put new units online for my students. So generally, the beginning of the year is the most difficult. That’s the time when we have to enrol students, when we have to make sure that the moodle program is running fine. 

Are there any other QVS offices for QSI schools around the world?

No, we are the only one!

Thanks a lot for the interview!

Pasha Lisovyi