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Learning Technology Grant Winner: Bellport Senior High School

Award Years: 2015-2018

Abstract:

21st Century Education, Online/Blended Learning targets students in participating schools to fulfill their potential and improve skills to master: 1) Utilization of a Learning Management System (LMS), the virtual learning platform Moodle, to support participation in Online/Blended Learning opportunities in English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy, 2) Students’ ability to participate in an Online/Blend Learning Program that includes activities specific to meeting their learning needs, 3) Implementation of professional learning that improves teacher virtual instruction capacity, 4) Provision of the tools believed necessary to the highest success in an Online/Blended Learning Program. PLA/SURR Eligible List was reviewed to identify potential participating public schools.

Eastern Suffolk BOCES participated in the Virtual Advanced Placement Grant (VAP). Data gathered through the work of the VAP Grant revealed that both teachers and students struggle while working within the online learning environment. The data shows that students struggle with completion of course material due to poor time management skills and the absence of face-to-face instructional support; while teachers struggle with the development of online course material and with establishing and fostering virtual collaborative learning. The public and non-public partners that are focusing on advancing online/blended learning show a weakness in the following areas:

  • Providing professional development of teachers to develop, conduct, computer-mediated activities that lead to improvement in ELA and literacy skills
  • Improving targeted student access to online/blended learning courses through the development of adequate programming infrastructure (hardware, software, courseware, etc.).
  • Increasing student participation in the online/blended learning environment with emphasis on time management skills and student ownership of learning

This proposal, 21st Century Education, Online/Blended Learning will specifically address each of these areas of weakness while focusing on developing lessons that will improve ELA and literacy skills. Model Schools Professional Developers will work directly with teachers in each of the partner schools to support the application of online/blended learning experiences. Student Data Services, Shared Data Experts will analyze the data to inform progress.

Just as the virtual environment is integrated in school and life in the twenty-first century, skills related to online/blended learning are integrated through the standards. This enables teachers to participate in effective learning strategies to support the needs of the online/blended learning community of learners.

This proposal integrates with each of the districts’ technology plans by infusing core content area curriculum with technology based methods for learning and approaches to support teacher professional development in the online/blended learning environment. This proposal’s objective is to train teachers though customized professional development to:

  • Become aware of their role as providers of support, guidance and advisor of online course content
  • Become aware of research-based online/blended learning practices that foster student achievement
  • Develop an alignment between face-to-face course material and online/blended learning course material to ensure seamless student interaction in the online/blended learning environment
  • Improve teacher knowledge of online/blended learning capacity