Teacher Interview – School District Implements Hybrid Teaching and Learning
COVID-19 disrupted the 2019-2020 school year in a major way. When schools began to shut down, teachers, administrators, parents and students were left scrambling to figure out what the rest of the spring would look like. Read about how one teacher utilized his 14-year relationship with CTeLearning to easily transition his classes to hybrid teaching and hybrid learning, keeping his students on the path to success.
Incorporating Hybrid Teaching and Learning
Doug Devine of Eau Claire School District in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, didn’t panic when his school district realized it would need to move to hybrid teaching and hybrid learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Doug has been working with CTeLearning since 2006. As a veteran teacher, he has seen it all, but never a school shut down due to a pandemic. Fortunately, he knew he and his students wouldn’t miss a beat as they continued their classes online. Doug has been using a hybrid learning, or blended learning approach for years, combining face-to-face classroom instruction with online curriculum. So, the shift to fully online classes with Zoom web interactions was less shocking for him and his students.
Almost all of the school districts in the country were forced to transition to hybrid learning due to coronavirus, and reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year will most likely continue to incorporate hybrid learning options. Doug has been doing hybrid teaching with CTeLearning curriculum since their partnership began years ago.
The first CTeLearning digital course Doug taught starting in 2006 was Coding and 3D Video Game Design, when he was informed just one month before the school year started that he would be teaching the course. The CTeLearning team helped Doug quickly get up to speed and become comfortable with the material. Thanks to the fact that CTeLearning courses are self-directed, media-rich, and highly interactive, Doug’s students were able to thrive starting on day one. Doug later added Web and Computer Animation as another option for students interested in STEM careers.
The courses have helped open up students’ eyes to possible career paths for their future. Doug says, “A lot of my students have the vision of what they want to do for a career path. But it’s always the same answer—computers, computers, computers. I ask them, ‘what area of computers would you like to get into? Do you realize that there are so many different facets of what computers can do?’ Video game development opens the eyes of some to the coding aspect, while others are more interested in the web animation aspect. The courses show the kids exactly how different aspects of computers actually work.”
Doug is able to teach these digital courses from his own home to students in their own homes. This hybrid teaching and learning setting provides a more relaxed atmosphere than the traditional classroom setting, and students can learn at their own pace. Several courses also equip students to take optional certification exams administered by a professional association, giving them a valuable credential for their career path. And in addition to technical skills, courses also teach professional skills such as ethics in the workplace, professionalism and more, so students develop a comprehensive view of what a career in the field looks like.
Building Relationships with Teachers and Students
Doug says, “Steve and the CTeLearning team are always available to help me out for whatever questions I have. In the course website, everything is laid out well and they’ve continued to make it better and better. I’m really the facilitator for the technology, so to speak, because kids are so good with this stuff nowadays. And they’re so easy to get on board with doing these types of things. Most of them learn a lot quicker than I did. So now I really point them in the right direction, collect the assignments, and do the grading. The kids do most of the work by themselves.”
CTeLearning prides itself on developing innovative, fun, and effective courseware for middle and high school students around the country. The CTeLearning team strives to make the tools for teachers and students to succeed, and stay with them every step of the way to ensure success. This allows teachers to do what they do best—impacting students and building relationships with them, even outside of the classroom through hybrid teaching and learning. This relational approach has resulted in many teachers like Doug sticking with CTeLearning for many years.
Steve Waddell, founder and lead developer of CTeLearning, said, “If there has been any silver lining to the pandemic it was how all our teachers easily shifted from classroom blended learning to full remote teaching in quarantine. As developers, we work behind the scenes and get involved when a teacher needs training, technical help, or someone to vent to. So, imagine when we start getting calls from teachers thanking us for courseware that allowed them to switch teaching modes without skipping a beat. It is what we designed for, yes, but we never really expected something like this to happen and teachers to have to use our curriculum in the ‘pandemic mode.’ Our entire team is proud of how our curriculum and systems are helping our teachers and their students. It made us feel good about what we had built. This ensures we are ready for whatever chaos the 2020-2021 school with COVID-19 or the next world virus brings us.”
Implement Hybrid Teaching Today
Our online curriculum can enable you to become a hybrid teacher and lead your students through whatever ups and downs the coming school years may bring as we navigate this global pandemic. To learn more about how CTeLearning can help make teaching easier, check out our course offerings and schedule a free demo today.