Once we have hired teachers, we provide ongoing professional development to help train them in the use of tech tools. Teaching online means teachers must remain current with the ongoing developments in eLearning. We ask each of our teachers to be active in creating their own personal learning network, using Twitter, LinkedIn, and other web-based social tools that keep them tied into the most current developments. Many of our professional development sessions are put on by our own teachers, who share their new finds and how they are applying them to their classrooms. It results in a continual evolution of our online classrooms.

What’s your best or most useful ed-tech advice for your colleagues?

The best advice I could give other educators would be to search out tools that are both collaborative and cloud-based. Those are the two key words that govern how we choose tools for our school. Tools must be collaborative, giving teachers, administrators, and students the ability for peer-to-peer and faculty-to-peer interactions, despite location or distance. Cloud-based tools serve a similar role, in that they give each end-user the ability to access school, materials, professional development, and resources from any place, at any time.

True innovation in education has the power to transform, but only if it is available for other schools to implement. Open High School does not just innovate and build for the benefit of its own students, but also openly shares the fruits of its efforts with other educators.