Scaling Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative to Support Continuity of Learning
The Vermont Agency of Education will be scaling its existing relationship with Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC) to provide an optional virtual learning management system (LMS) to support SUs/SDs, Career Technical (CTE) and Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) centers as they shift to remote education statewide. This is targeted to serve secondary students beginning at grade 6 for the remainder of the school year.
This option will be at no cost to districts, schools or providers.
VTVLC has expanded programs to support schools today, tomorrow, and into the future. We see the immediate needs of schools to build upon the foundation required by the current crisis requiring remote learning.
In order to improve and expand school’s efforts to meet this need into the future, we are offering the following supports at no cost to schools or districts:
Professional Development and Training
VTVLC will be hosting multiple online webinars to help teachers prepare for next year. Check back often for updates and added webinars!
Transitioning to Online: Up and Running
This online mini-course (1-2 hours) provides insight from experienced online educators on prioritizing efforts, connecting with students, and best practices. The transition to the online classroom can be overwhelming for both teacher and student, but this workshop helps take the initial shock to a manageable level. You’ll learn from experienced online educators how to quickly establish communications, maintain a rapport, and engage students to maximize the success of the transition to online learning.
Open to all: Non-facilitated
Online Teaching Best Practices
(Option A: Open to individual teachers)
This introductory class (5 hours) will help teachers who unexpectedly find themselves teaching online without having previous training in the pedagogy of online teaching. It is a selection of materials from multiple classes by the Northeast Online Teaching Institute including Methods 1: Introduction to Online Teaching, Methods II: Online Teaching Tools & Techniques, and Online Teaching with Practicum. The class uses the seven non-optional National Standards for Quality Online Teaching to organize the class content. Optional certificate for professional learning available.
Open to all: Non-Facilitated
Online Teaching Best Practices
(Option B: Open to schools and school departments)
This facilitated version of the class (10 hours/3-weeks) will help teachers who unexpectedly find themselves teaching online without having previous training in the pedagogy of online teaching. It is a selection of materials from multiple classes by the Northeast Online Teaching Institute including Methods 1: Introduction to Online Teaching, Methods II: Online Teaching Tools & Techniques, and Online Teaching with Practicum. The class uses the seven non-optional National Standards for Quality Online Teaching to organize the class content. Includes a certificate for professional learning.
Open to all: Facilitated
School administrators can pre-register teachers:
Resources for Vermont Schools
VTVLC is supporting Vermont licensed content teachers who hold the OTS endorsement to provide assistance as mentors for teachers/schools within content areas. This option is coupled with the Online Teaching Best Practices (Option B) and will continue to support teachers through the end of the school year to help answer questions local teachers may have regarding best practices for remote teaching and online learning.
Learning Management System
VTVLC is providing Canvas to all teachers and schools at no cost. Canvas by Instructure is one of the top five Learning Management Systems available today for online learning at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, It is feature rich, and includes a mastery-based gradebook. Included is free training in Canvas directly by Instructure. Tier 1 technical support by Instructure is also included with 120 second response time. Advanced support is also provided by VTVLC staff to your technical and administrative teams.
VTVLC Content (eCurriculum)
Teachers need to concentrate on supporting students, not scramble to find and curate content. We don’t expect VTVLC teachers to develop any content from scratch, and we don’t believe educators should have to do this in emergency remote learning either. VTVLC uses a variety of award-winning online courses from providers like Florida Virtual School, eDynamics, as well as a variety of locally developed courses. We are providing schools with customizable FULL COURSES which are standards-based for grades 6-12.
Select the Support your Schools Need
Schools can choose any or all of the options listed, allowing schools to leverage either a custom or turnkey approach to Emergency Remote Teaching. Whether schools resume provisionally, temporarily, or completely in the fall, VTVLC is prepared to support schools to develop better infrastructure for distance learning.
This program is supported by the Vermont Agency of Education through June 2021 at least with high probability for continuation in subsequent years.
For questions on these services, contact:
Jess DeCarolis, Education Division Director, Personalization & Flexible Pathways, VT Agency of Education
Why should you let VTVLC support your teachers?
VTVLC has been providing online programs to Vermont students for eleven years. In this time, thousands of students have not only completed their coursework online, but excelled where they could not in a traditional setting. Although online learning can be challenging for many students, we’ve developed a variety of strategies and tools to support all learners. Our experience in supporting the whole student, including parents, has enabled us to see students coming back multiple times for additional coursework.
During the transition to remote learning, schools have been forced to adopt some of the methodology of online learning. However, distance learning is a systemic change, not merely a transition to a different way of doing the same things schools are used to doing. Our ability to support schools and teachers with these strategies will help make the experience much more tolerable for both students and teachers.
Leveraging our experience and support, your teachers and students will have more time to connect and maintain their relationships, which is crucial at this time. VTVLC can provide not only the infrastructure and content, but the tools, professional development, and mentoring by a faculty fully prepared and practiced to support student learning from a distance.
We look forward to supporting your school’s efforts to engage with students, and working together to make this crisis’ impact as manageable as possible.