Dive Brief:

  • A virtual learning team of six to eight teachers in California’s Mountain View Whisman School District will produce online lessons for all subjects and grade levels for the coming school year in an effort to alleviate pressure in remote learning environments, District Administration reports
  • The district plans to run a hybrid schedule that includes both fully remote learning and part-time in-person instruction through an A/B schedule. Without the task of developing virtual lessons, teachers will have more time to do remediation with students who have fallen behind, the district’s superintendent said.
  • The district expects some families to keep students home and continue remote learning throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and if more students stay home than expected, more teachers will be shifted to the remote learning team.

Dive Insight:

This spring, many teachers were overwhelmed by the shift to remote learning, which required them to juggle teaching their students, supporting their own children, and reworking their curriculum into an online format. Almost overnight, teachers were forced to adopt an entirely new learning model and figure out how to deliver traditional lesson plans online.

Many needed more technology training, Colin Sharkey, executive director of the Association of American Educators, told Fox Business. During the transition, teachers also went through emotions that ranged from concern for their students to frustration.

While the Mountain View Whisman School District online learning team model will give overwhelmed teachers some relief, it will also could provide opportunity for change and growth that may help prevent burnout.

The remote learning team will be able to collaborate using ever-changing technology in a new studio being opened by Superintendent Ayindé Rudolph, producing intriguing and engaging curriculum content. And those teachers who remain in the classroom can focus on working with students, rather than figuring out the latest tech tricks.

The remote learning and hybrid learning models being embraced by many districts are similar to the flipped classroom approach that was becoming popular before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S.

In 2010, Clintondale High School, in Clinton Township, Michigan, successfully implemented a flipped classroom concept for its 400-student school. The high school now reports better attendance and college acceptance, and there has also been a drop in failure rates. At Clintondale, teachers deliver lessons via video for students to watch as homework. They then do their math lessons, science lab reports and other written projects at school under the guidance of the teacher.

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