How to establish rapport with online students

My experience with online education began 19 years ago after I took a break from teaching in the brick and mortar setting to give birth to my daughter. When I was ready to get back in the game, several of my colleagues recommended Florida Virtual School (FLVS), which at the time was in its infancy. What really sold me on FLVS was the organization’s dedication to meeting students where they are. It also seemed like the next natural step for me, because during my traditional schooling days I was constantly looking to add innovative methods and technology to my classroom.

Within a couple of months of teaching online with FLVS, I witnessed how intentional the instructors were when serving our students’ individual needs, and I knew this was the place for me. I remember being in awe of the relationships teachers were able to form not only with their students, but also parents and other stakeholders.

With that in mind, there were several skills I needed to learn, especially when it came to establishing rapport with students. There are many skills that teachers need to be successful teaching online, including basic technology skills like how to use a computer, run a webinar or video conferencing platform, and use a variety of systems. But the most important skill is communication. Specifically, how to actively listen, build relationships, and at many times, be a shoulder to cry on and a mirror to see in. Being an online teacher can be tough, because you are juggling a lot at one time, but the focus should always remain on the student and what they need.…Read More

How online education serves special needs students

Over the past few years, the pandemic made online education the de-facto schooling format for nearly all Americans. While it proved viable for many, it also exposed some of the common pitfalls in the traditional online education landscape, leading to a common perception that online education formats don’t yield the same level of instruction and retention for students. However, this belief is often misguided or a direct result of imperfect execution by school systems that struggle to adapt to a virtual format.  

As an educator in the online format since the outset of my teaching career in 2013, I firmly believe that with the right practices and systems in place, there are in fact many ways in which online education offers a more supportive, inclusive, and personalized learning experience–especially for typically overlooked or isolated students, such as those with special education needs and IEPs.

Online education can offer an inclusive and discreet experience for special education students that optimizes their potential and boosts their academic performance, personal confidence, and overall growth as a student.…Read More

4 tips to make virtual learning fun for students

While COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available, the Delta variant of the virus is raging across the country and forcing schools to navigate continued risk. Because of this, the virtual learning experience has lasted.

Educators, fatigued by tech challenges, student disengagement, reduced virtual attendance, and lower test scores, are worried. That said, virtual learning will continue for the foreseeable future because, still, no one knows what that future looks like.

Educators will have to focus on the advantages of the virtual classroom system, ways to improve virtual learning as a whole, and the quality of online education. By learning to engage virtual students in digital classrooms, educators will be able to build relationships with and teach students well–no matter what the world looks like as the rest of 2021 rolls on.…Read More

PresenceLearning Becomes New Corporate Partner of ASHA

(Rockville, MD – July 27, 2021) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) announced today that PresenceLearning, a provider of live online special education–related services for grades preK–12, has become an ASHA Corporate Partner.

ASHA’s partnership with PresenceLearning will help speech-language pathologists (SLPs) access teletherapy at a time when online education tools have proven to be critical to connecting to students and clients. PresenceLearning has been providing teletherapy tools for 12 years, and its proprietary platform has been built by clinicians for clinicians. The platform—which includes a built-in content library of activities and tools that allow clinicians to learn from their peers—is also available for individual and group practice.

“As we learned from the pandemic, our members need every tool available to them to help serve their patients, clients, and students no matter what arises,” said ASHA 2021 President A. Lynn Williams, PhD, CCC-SLP. “PresenceLearning’s therapy platform will help ensure that students get the care that they need from our members.”…Read More

3 ways students can be ready for college and a career

While the way students are achieving educational goals may look a little different due to the pandemic, it doesn’t eliminate its value or importance. In fact, with the way our day-to-day lives are evolving, it’s critical that students take time to evaluate how their next steps, personally and professionally, might impact the future. What’s been made clear over the past year is that how one looks for a college, how one prepares for a career and, ultimately, the importance of education all go hand in hand.

And while online education is an increasingly popular option for students, it doesn’t mean that all students are equipped with the knowledge of how to navigate this new-ish learning style and what resources to use in the process.

Here are three key insights for students to enable them to thrive, regardless of the learning environment.…Read More

Catholic Independent Schools consortium renews VHS Learning partnership for 19th year

Even without the current need for remote learning, quality online education options can expand the curriculum available to students and prepare them for the postsecondary world. For these reasons the Catholic Independent Schools consortium has extended its partnership with VHS Learning for the 19th consecutive year. The consortium has renewed its VHS Learning membership with 213 semester-length virtual enrollments for the 2020-21 academic year. Their students are enrolled in 97 different VHS Learning courses.

The following schools currently benefit from participation in the Catholic Independent Schools consortium:

  • Academy of Notre Dame, Tyngsboro, MA..
  • Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree, MA.
  • Arlington Catholic High School, Arlington, MA.
  • Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody, MA.
  • Cardinal Spellman High School, Brockton, MA.
  • Fontbonne Academy, Milton, MA.
  • Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, MA.
  • Notre Dame Academy – Worcester, MA.
  • Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School, Lawrence, MA.
  • Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA.
  • Stephen T. Badin High School, Hamilton, OH.

Sister Kristin Hokanson, the consortium director, serves as the primary site coordinator in the partnership with VHS Learning. Hokanson said her decision to join the online program came when she had the chance to visit a physical classroom with students taking VHS Learning courses back in the late 1990s. “I honestly felt like I walked from one century into the next,” she recalled. “I saw that technology was going to be an important tool, and that students needed a solid education involving technology. And one of the ways was to take an online course.”…Read More

7 Mindsets and K12, Inc. Virtual Schools Expand Partnership

7 Mindsets, the pioneer in delivering social emotional learning (SEL) solutions that include mindsets, equity and multicultural pedagogy, is taking on an expanded role in the SEL delivered by K12, Inc., one of the nation’s leading virtual/online education providers. 7 Mindsets will now provide SEL courses and curriculums, leadership training and teacher professional development throughout the entire K12, Inc., system for the next three years.

7 Mindsets and K12, Inc., alliance began in 2014. At that time, 7 Mindsets provided services for four schools designed to help struggling students that were on the verge of dropping out. Three years later, K12, Inc., added 11 more schools to the 7 Mindsets roster. With the expanded partnership, 7 Mindsets is now serving all of K12 Inc.’s schools and over 120,000 students, up from just 27,000 students in 2019.

“K12, Inc., is the largest virtual school organization in the United States, and we are very pleased to be an integral part of their expanding SEL program,” said 7 Mindsets President, Lupita Knittel. “We know that our age-appropriate, culturally-relevant curriculum is not only engaging but as an adaptable, digital curriculum it’s the perfect resource for a virtual school environment.”…Read More

Codecademy Expands Online Coding Education

Codecademy, the online education platform empowering millions of people to learn code, announced two new initiatives for students and teachers, including its first-ever student membership and a new partnership with Clever, the most widely used single sign-on (SSO) portal in K-12 schools nationwide

With many schools going fully or partially remote this fall, Codecademy is making its learning platform more accessible for students and teachers. For college students, Codecademy is launching a new Pro Student membership, which includes complete access to Codecademy’s catalog for a more affordable price.

Codecademy is also providing free access to its online coding courses for high school teachers and their classes via a new partnership with Clever. Codecademy Pro courses will be available in Clever Library, a catalog of high-quality digital resources that teachers can deploy to their classroom within seconds. High school teachers can access Codecademy’s interactive curriculums for free, empowering their students to learn how to code in a fun and engaging way online.…Read More

“Technology Tools for Online Education” Mini Book and Udemy Course Released

“Technology Tools for Online Education,” a mini book focused on teaching education leaders how to harness their smartphone, leverage the cloud, and connect with students using online communications, is now available. Written by Paul Richards, live streaming and video production expert and Chief Streaming Officer for StreamGeeks and PTZOptics, the all-new guide can be used as a reference for education leaders to learn new ways to engage with students online. The book is part of a blended learning environment and has an accompanying four-hour, on-demand Udemy course.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a disruption to the in-person learning environment. Over the next five years, education as we know it will undergo more changes than ever before. Learning environments for K-12 students will shift online, leaving educators wondering how to conduct virtual lessons while keeping students engaged. The new guide and online course will pick up where others left off on the topic of educational technology and highlight specific technology tools educators can master to enhance their online education capabilities. Over 4,000 educators are already enrolled in the online Udemy course, which will be free during the book launch August 10-12th.

“As a live streaming instructor and technology adopter, I wanted to share my experience and skills with K-12 teachers,” said Paul Richards, author. “Technology Tools for Online Education makes it easy for anyone new to teaching online to learn some winning strategies for creating fun and memorable classes.”…Read More

Online STEM Summer Camps for High School and College Students

Numerade—an online education platform founded with a mission to provide equitable access to high-quality STEM instruction—today announced the launch of free, virtual STEM summer camps open to students at the middle, high school, and college levels. Course offerings include SAT Test Prep, Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics, all taught by top-ranked STEM PhDs, college professors, and high school teachers. Students can enroll now for this free program and begin taking their courses as soon as June 1 with ongoing enrollment available thereafter.

Students can participate in Numerade’s free summer STEM camps to get a head start on the courses they’ll be taking in the fall or as an enrichment opportunity in which they can take courses not offered at their school. Students may also use these courses to catch up on any material missed due to school closures caused by Covid-19. Each course follows the common core curriculum and covers an entire semester’s worth of material.

“We’re excited to launch Numerade’s STEM summer camps at a time when it’s more important than ever for students to have access to world-class content to maintain and enhance their learning despite ongoing school closures,” said Nhon Ma, CEO and Co-Founder of Numerade. “By taking our engaging STEM courses this summer, students will not only acquire foundational knowledge but also be positioned to excel next school year. The summer camps are completely free and available asynchronously on any device, making them a great option for any student interested in getting ahead in their learning.”…Read More