Mandate: Districts approach this in several ways. Teacher evaluations might include a portion pertaining to teachers’ use of technology in the classroom. Teachers could be required to use the learning management system gradebook and post at least once a week, as they are in Mooresville Graded Schools.
Support the choice: Offer all or the majority of professional development and other required courses online—and use the system that is being promoted.
“We use the learning management system in everything we do. It is our online classroom, it is our portal; we are paperless as we provide all information and forms via our learning management system. Administrative meeting notes, resource articles, school improvement plans are all shared and stored in the system,” said Traci Dami of Collier County Public Schools.
Encourage gradual buy-in: “Find non-threatening opportunities to familiarize educators with the online environment,” the report’s authors suggest. “If online learning options are available, easy to use, and well supported, teachers will gradually begin using them.”
How are we going to create and deliver the courses?
Virtual learning policies play an important role in determining how successful online instruction will be. The experts had different opinions on how much control a school district should have over policy, but each expert follows a consistently applied process.
Questions involved in those processes include:
- Will we build or buy the course content?
- How will we define and measure the rigor of a course?
- Will virtual classes be synchronous or asynchronous?
- Will the classes be delivered on a set term or a continuous basis?
- Will the classes involve teamwork?