The fifth session that I am blogging here at SITE 2017 related to K-12 Online and Blended Learning is:
Best Practices in Implementing an Online Learning Program for Elementary Literacy Intervention
Presider: Mindy Allenger, Marshall University, United States
Educators face many challenges when integrating technology into school systems. During the 2015–2016 school year, a school district in the Pacific Northwest received a large technology grant to integrate new programs into its schools. The district chose to use Imagine Learning, an online language and literacy program, to support struggling readers and English Language Learners. The Imagine Learning research team studied the district’s implementation of the program through extensive interviews and observations. In this presentation, we share effective practices for implementation identified through interviews and observations. Specifically, teachers described practices related to classroom management, monitoring academic growth, and communicating and collaborating with others.
First, as these folks were pulling up their slides, I noticed that there were 24 slides for a 20 minute session (and they began with three minutes of background over the title screen).
Anyway, the study focused on four schools in the Pacific Northwest during the 2015-16 school year, where students were pulled out of their classes to use the Imagine Learn software to provide support their language learning intervention.
The four main elements that made the implementation successful were:
- the district implementation model – which largely involved hiring an Imagine Learn specialist at the district level and then a school-based teacher, along with an Imagine Learn-hired coach and – sometimes – para-professionals;
- the classroom management – which involved the set-up of the physical space, the lab scheduling and planning specific expectations and routines;
- monitoring and promoting academic growth – this involved academic accountability, monitoring student progress, and then adjusting instruction based on that monitoring; and
- communication and collaboration – which involved dedicated teachers that were not the classroom teacher, but this focus also allowed them to work across schools and open up time to interact with parents (including regular open houses for parents). It also included a strong level of support from the district and their associated activities.