Its official, tonight our school board approved a pilot in which several of our high school teachers will be developing and implementing Hybrid courses. Whats more exciting, is that we will be starting as early as this quarter! Last summer, my principal and I attended Claiming your digital space:Developing an Online Program for Your District. I have to say, after leaving that day, it was like I had an digital epiphany. We have been dabbling in online learning for several years and have some great things going. We have teachers that have been certified (through a 5-6 week online course) to provide fully online courses. (so, we dont lose our students to other online programs) Our math department developed their own Moodle curriclum and was implementing Flipped classroom techniques and getting great recognition and gains in academic achievement!
But new opportunities arose, to develop our program further, when we were awarded 4 TPC Interns from an Innovative Winona State teaching program. While 1st semester is spent with these individuals as a typical student teacher mentor, during 2nd semester the interns “take over” the classes. This frees up a tremendous amount of time for the mentor – allowing our district to use their time elsewhere. (Big win for Winona and Big win for us!)
Seeing the writing on the wall, a couple of our teachers decided to begin developing content early this school year. Imagine the excitement I felt when I coordinated the first official meeting last week (to address the registration guide deadlines and possibly needing Hybrid language) and the teachers were ready to PILOT now, this quarter. And tonight, only 4 days later, we are getting board approval to move forward! We will still focus on course development 2nd semester, but to have some pilots started this quarter, to learn from, is going to be very beneficial!
The statistics are clear. Online/hybrid learning is certainly on the rise. I am excited to say, our plan is coming together and I do believe we will claim our space when it comes to online learning! Stay tuned!