Boston — June 4, 2020 — Most educators face uncertainty about classroom learning during the upcoming 2020-21 academic year, and it is expected that online learning will continue to be a big part of school life for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, because of the need to provide emergency distance instruction this spring, many teachers have not been fully trained on what constitutes effective online instructional practices. To help educators, VHS Learning (VHS, Inc.), a nonprofit with 25 years of online professional development experience, has created two NEW professional learning opportunities that will run through the summer -- Critical Skills for Online Teaching and Effective Instructional Strategies for Online Classrooms.
“VHS Learning has literally helped develop the standards for quality online education. We believe in the value of collaborative, engaging online learning and are pleased to support teachers who are new to the online learning environment. Our nonprofit contributed to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching and we are pleased that we can help teachers develop the skills they need to feel comfortable as education practices change,” said Carol (Ribeiro) DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “Our new professional learning opportunities supplement our existing teacher training program, Online Teaching Methodologies (OTM), and will be an asset to any teacher looking to bring quality online instruction to their students in the new school year.”
Critical Skills for Online Teaching
This series of four facilitated professional development modules focuses on the skills teachers need to transition to online instruction. Teachers can enroll in individual modules or take the entire series. The series focuses on these critical topics:
Module 1: Communication Strategies for Online Classrooms; June 15 – June 26, 2020
Module 2: Meaningful Discussions in Online Classrooms; June 29 – July 10, 2020
Module 3: Feedback and Assessment in Online Classrooms; July 13 – July 24, 2020
Module 4: Meeting Varied Learner Needs in Online Classrooms; July 27 – August 7, 2020
Participants successfully completing a module will receive a certificate of completion for 10 hours of professional learning in the area of digital learning and online instruction.
Effective Instructional Strategies for Online Classrooms
This four-week webinar and discussion series introduces best practices in online instruction. Each week will kick off with a brief reading and examination of current practice. Participants will then attend a one-hour webinar hosted by an experienced online learning practitioner. The webinar will be followed by a two-day facilitated, online discussion where participants will consider how the information in the webinar applies to their own instructional practice. The week will end with a personal reflection about what has been learned and how the teacher plans to implement the suggested strategies.
This professional development series runs from June 22 to July 17 and includes the following focus areas:
Week 1: Essentials of Online Teaching
Week 2: Facilitating Online Discussions
Week 3: Feedback and Assessment in the Online Classroom
Week 4: Teacher Presence and Classroom Community.
Participants completing all four webinar sessions will receive a certificate of completion for 20 hours of professional learning in the area of digital learning and online instruction. Massachusetts teachers that complete all the sessions will earn 20 PDPs in the area of digital learning.
For more information on either professional development series, visit https://vhslearning.org/professional-development.
About VHS Learning (VHS, Inc.)
VHS Learning is a nonprofit organization with almost 25 years of experience providing world-class online programs to students and schools everywhere. Offering more than 220 unique online courses, including 24 AP® courses, credit recovery and enrichment courses, and a selection of dual-credit options, VHS Learning is accredited by Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS), Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC), and Cognia. Courses are approved for initial eligibility by NCAA. For more information about VHS Learning please visit https://www.vhslearning.org/ and follow on Twitter at @VHSLearning.
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