Specialized ‘virtual learning team’ will create district’s online lessons
To take some pressure off teachers, a virtual learning team will create all of the online lessons for the Mountain View Whisman School District in Silicon Valley this coming year.
Superintendent Ayindé Rudolph also intends to open a video studio where the team, which will comprise six to eight teachers hired from in and outside the district, can produce instructional videos in all subjects for students in all grades.
While he admits there may be some bumps in the beginning, Rudolph says he’s excited the about plan’s potential to better meet the needs of diverse learners who are working remotely.
“We wanted to find ways to make it easy for teachers to do what they do best,” Rudolph says. “We’re looking at this as an opportunity to drive some changes to the way we provide education to all kids, and we’re super-excited about the possibilities.”
The district is planning a hybrid of online learning and in-person instruction for the coming school year, with different groups of students coming into buildings on “A” and “B” days. Rudolph also expects that some families will choose to remain remote until the coronavirus outbreak is under control.
The collection of virtual lessons will give teachers more opportunities to provide remediation to students who have fallen behind and work with students in small groups.
The team also expects to create videos in Spanish, Rudolph says.
“We thought, instead of asking teachers to create lessons for asynchronous or synchronous learning, let’s just take it off their table,” he says.
More from DA: How parents and teachers rated online learning
If a substantial number of students choose to remain remote, the district may shift more teachers to the virtual team. Rudolph notes that the district’s current teacher-of-the-year has already volunteered for the project.
“We believe this will drive teachers to create a different experience than what we had when we first starting doing distance learning,” Rudolph says. “Teachers will be able to dive in and work with kids and not get frustrated about creating the content.”
DA’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on K-12.
Interested in edtech? Keep up with DA's Future of Education Technology Conference®.