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VHS Learning Creates New Professional Development for Teaching Online

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(Image credit: VHS Learning )

Educators, students, and administrators face a great deal of uncertainty about the upcoming school year. Questions include, Will we have classes in-person?, Will we continue remote teaching and learning? Or will it be a combination of both? How can I prepare to implement remote learning next year using best practices?

To help educators answer these questions and others, VHS Learning (VHS, Inc.), a nonprofit with 25 years of online professional development experience, has created two new professional learning opportunities that will run through the summer: Critical Skills for Online Teaching and Effective Instructional Strategies for Online Classrooms.

“VHS Learning has literally helped develop the standards for quality online education. We believe in the value of collaborative, engaging online learning and are pleased to support teachers who are new to the online learning environment. Our nonprofit contributed to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching and we are pleased that we can help teachers develop the skills they need to feel comfortable as education practices change,” said Carol (Ribeiro) DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “Our new professional learning opportunities supplement our existing teacher training program, Online Teaching Methodologies (OTM), and will be an asset to any teacher looking to bring quality online instruction to their students in the new school year.”

Critical Skills for Online Teaching

This series of four facilitated professional development modules focuses on the skills teachers need to transition to online instruction. Teachers can enroll in individual modules or take the entire series. The series focuses on these critical topics:

  • Module 1: Communication Strategies for Online Classrooms; June 15 – June 26, 2020
  • Module 2: Meaningful Discussions in Online Classrooms; June 29 – July 10, 2020
  • Module 3: Feedback and Assessment in Online Classrooms; July 13 – July 24, 2020
  • Module 4: Meeting Varied Learner Needs in Online Classrooms; July 27 – August 7, 2020

Participants successfully completing a module will receive a certificate of completion for 10 hours of professional learning in the area of digital learning and online instruction.

Effective Instructional Strategies for Online Classrooms

This four-week webinar and discussion series introduces best practices in online instruction. Each week will kick off with a brief reading and examination of current practice. Participants will then attend a one-hour webinar hosted by an experienced online learning practitioner. The webinar will be followed by a two-day facilitated, online discussion where participants will consider how the information in the webinar applies to their own instructional practice. The week will end with a personal reflection about what has been learned and how the teacher plans to implement the suggested strategies.

This professional development series runs from June 22 to July 17 and includes the following focus areas:

  • Week 1: Essentials of Online Teaching
  • Week 2: Facilitating Online Discussions
  • Week 3: Feedback and Assessment in the Online Classroom
  • Week 4: Teacher Presence and Classroom Community.

Participants completing all four webinar sessions will receive a certificate of completion for 20 hours of professional learning in the area of digital learning and online instruction. Massachusetts teachers that complete all the sessions will earn 20 PDPs in the area of digital learning.

For more information on either professional development series, visit https://vhslearning.org/professional-development