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Learning Technology Grant Winner: Scholastic Acad for Acad Excellence

Award Years: 2015-2018

Abstract:

Operation Online supports a unique district blended learning initiative called Yonkers Online Academy (YOA) which supports instructional design and development for students and staff. In an effort to continue strong district leadership efforts, Operation Online will foster collaboration between Priority School Scholastic Academy, Greenburgh-Graham Nonpublic School, district virtual leadership schools of Palisade Preparatory, Lincoln High, and Yonkers High, in collaboration with YOA leadership teams. Operation Online supports professional development efforts in which students, teachers, and administrators engage in blended learning instruction through courses and course design, resource development, and strategic integration of blended learning techniques. A 2009 study, U.S. Department of Education Study Finds that Good Teaching Can be Enhanced with New Technology, indicates “digitally rich educational strategies, such as blended learning experiences, are more effective than conventional face-to face instruction.” Project design supports continuing development of blended learning capacity, professional development of staff, and stakeholder outreach in online instruction and resource access. Project efforts will target support of grades 6 through 12, though extended outreach throughout the grades is projected due to the nature of the project design. Activities include implementation of rigorous and highly engaging blended learning in support of online delivery of rich, rigorous instruction through escalating levels of complexity. Year 1 reflects Yonkers Online – A New Year, moving in year 2 to Yonkers Online – Built to Grow, with year 3 leveraging capacity and focused design through Yonkers Online – All The Time. Project objectives include a) high quality professional development through workshops, mentoring, and coaching provided by district staff including members of the Yonkers Online Academy and New York Institute of Technology, b) engaging student centered blended instruction and instructional resource development. Active learning through course and resource development will further enhance professional and capacity development efforts. Operation Online supports student engagement, extending teaching, differentiated instruction, and opportunity for staff and students. Project design incorporates district portals including Moodle, Google Sites, and various digital design and web based instructional tools. Operation Online supports the New York State Regents Reform Agenda Goals #1, #2, and #3 through high quality sustained professional development supporting Development of Highly Effective School Leaders and Teachers, and Development of Student College and Career Readiness. Efforts align with New York State Learning Standards, including Common Core, and support development of lessons, units, and resources. Operation Online supports the objectives of the New York State Learning Technology Plan, Standards of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and District Technology Plans as staff and students engage in scientific inquiry to demonstrate understanding and construct explanations (MS.PS1), value evidence and use technology capably to read, write, speak and listen for information and understanding (ELA.1). College and Career Readiness will be supported as students respond to varying demands of task, and audience, value evidence, while using technology and digital media strategically (CCR). Common Core Standards addressed include research projects to answer a question (W.3-8.7); gathering relevant information from multiple sources (W.3-8.8); present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically (SL.3- 8.4); enhance understanding through strategic use of media in presentations (SL.3-8.5) through blended learning student centered learning experiences.