VHS Learning Celebrates Twenty-Year Partnerships with Schools and Educational Consortiums

Boston – Jan. 27, 2022 – VHS Learning is pleased to celebrate its partnership with four educational organizations that have been with the program for twenty or more years. These schools, districts, and consortiums helped to pioneer the use of VHS Learning’s online program to build equity and expand educational opportunities for their students.  

“In 1996 we were awarded a U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant. Online learning was in its infancy, and we worked closely with a small group of innovative schools who helped us establish a strong foundation for the work we do today,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “Without them, our program could not have grown to its current size, serving students in all 50 US states and 63 countries around the world. This year marks our 26th year of operation, and we want to recognize these forward-thinking partners who are true pioneers in online education.”

The four partners are:…Read More

What edtech should schools keep in today’s new normal?

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly thrown education for a loop. Even as classes resumed this past fall, many districts implemented widespread student and teacher quarantines and shifted to virtual learning as new outbreaks and variants emerged.

What new tools, techniques, and innovations should stick around in primary schools even after COVID recedes (whenever that may be)?

Check out this eSchool News webinar and learn from veteran educators who recall their work-around strategies during the massive shift to remote learning. They’ll provide valuable insight and will suggest which tools and strategies should be kept to create new hybrid learning models for younger students.…Read More

For COVID catch-up, don’t remediate–accelerate

One of the biggest changes educators will see in 2022 is the shift to accelerated learning. Educators have been experimenting with accelerated learning for some time, but in the last year or so, as districts looked for new strategies to address pandemic-related learning losses, organizations like The New Teacher Project have released reports on the effectiveness of the approach.

The phrase got picked up by the United States Department of Education and used in much of the department’s materials related to ESSER funds and stimulus money flowing to schools to address learning disruptions. As a result, if you look at almost any state’s recovery plan, you’ll find the phrase “accelerated learning.”

And for good reason, too. It’s an elegantly simple change, it appears to be quite effective, and it’s a perfect fit for the particular challenge we find ourselves in as we try to bring students back up to speed after a couple of difficult years.

What is accelerated learning?…Read More

4 ways to bring creativity to math instruction

Here’s a question for you: “What do you think is the most unpopular subject in school?” If you thought the safe answer was math, then you’d be right. According to numerous surveys, mathematics is easily one of the most disliked subjects in school, regularly scoring in the bottom three. I can certainly understand the sentiment. As a student, I didn’t like math much either.

Now, as an educator, I can see the inherent difficulties to teaching math to K-12 students. Kids often feel that math is both pointless and boring. It usually doesn’t play a big role in their daily life and lacks the flare of other disciplines. This can dampen their engagement and cause them to miss crucial knowledge that will ultimately help them in their learning journey.

This begs the question: How do we as teachers infuse curiosity and creativity into our math lessons?    …Read More

Balancing SEL and classroom basics

As we enter our third year impacted by COVID, I predict that it is going to take schools three years to fully recover. After spending a year at home, my high school students are back in the classroom, and I am thrilled to be with them.

However, even beyond academic challenges, students also need to work on the basics of being a student, such as getting to class on time and not relying on their cell phone for answers. Here’s how I see teachers, administrators, and students working together to get school back to something resembling normal.

SEL will be essential for students and teachers.…Read More

Study: Instructional Mode Played No Significant Role in COVID-19-Related Learning Loss in Indiana Public Schools in 2020-21

MUNCIE, Indiana – Students, teachers, and administrators across the country have faced unprecedented challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But researchers at Ball State University have concluded that various modes of instruction—whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid—did not play a significant role in learning loss among students in Indiana public schools during the 2020-21 school year.

What Contributed to COVID Learning Loss in Indiana’s Schools?,” a recently published study from Ball State’s  Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), utilized Indiana Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network (ILEARN) test scores from Spring 2019 to Spring 2021 as a measure of learning for Indiana public K-12 schools.

Testing the effects of several different contributing factors—including school size, demographics, type of school, instructional modes, and more—CBER researchers Drs. Michael Hicks and Dagney Faulk concluded that the level of poverty in a school, as measured by the share of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, was the single strongest correlate of COVID-19-related learning loss during the 2020-21 school year.…Read More

Using evidence-based math programs to address learning recovery

Selecting instructional strategies and supplemental resources for supporting student learning recovery shouldn’t be a guessing game. District and school leaders seeking to address learning loss and accelerate growth must consider the importance of evidence-based practices: instructional skills, techniques, and strategies that a study or experiment has shown to be effective.

The latest reports confirm that the pandemic slowed progress in math and reading for millions of U.S. students. As districts seek effective strategies and resources for addressing learning recovery, particularly in math, they should consider investing in evidence-based solutions.

Evidence-based or philosophy-based?…Read More