Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC) partnered with the Central Indiana Educational Service Center (CIESC) and has been named a recipient of the Digital Capacity Building Grant from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). As a grant recipient, MVCSC has created a professional development opportunity called the Digital Learning Pathway. This program is designed to help educators develop and translate in-person teaching and learning best practices for use in blended and virtual classrooms. The pathway has six modules that articulate a common MVCSC vision to provide an engaging, robust and personalized learning environment for students’ education.
Scott Shipley, director of curriculum, and Misty Hall, curriculum integration coordinator, gave a presentation on the success of the Digital Learning Pathway at the August MVCSC Board of Trustees meeting, congratulating the first MVCSC cohort with certificates.
All of the topics covered in this professional development opportunity are designed to help the teachers gather information and learn various skills that create a more immersive and inclusive classroom experience for students, regardless of whether the student is in-person or virtual. The Digital Learning Pathway curriculum includes six pillars: Relationships and Foundations, Accessible Learning, Learner-Centered Design, Engagement and Empowerment, Feedback and Assessments, and Future Ready Mindset.
The first cohort at Mt. Vernon consisted of 21 teachers and administrators. There are plans for three additional cohorts in the future, with anticipated increased numbers of participants each time. MVCSC is thankful to be a recipient of the IDOE’s Digital Learning Capacity Building Grant as it enables faculty who participate in the program to be paid for their time as they learn these best practices.
Although this professional development opportunity focuses on how the instruction translates to the digital environment, the program also builds and enhances the teacher’s instruction for in-person learning. The Digital Learning Pathway (DLP) gives teachers the tools to surpass any virtual instruction barriers and create a learning experience that strengthens the students’ understanding of the concept, whether they are in-person or virtual.
Through the DLP course, teachers learn how they can create a space where all learners can do their best, such as changing the style of notes and giving options based on what works best for the individual student. Helping teachers broaden their application of technology in the classroom can enhance student engagement and student learning, which is crucial to student success. Participants from the first cohort have shared that the Digital Learning Pathway course helped them professionally both in technology as well as in their everyday teaching for in-person students.
Here are a few successful examples of the DLP being implemented by Mt. Vernon teachers:
“I would say the biggest change for me has been a focus on the accessibility of lessons and digital materials. I have always thought about accessibility in my classroom, but the DLC Pathway has helped me to think about it in the digital context as well. The DLP Pathway allows you to think about things in your classroom that you may not always consider: accessibility, building relationships in the digital space, using assessments as feedback, etc.,” said Jaime Wilson, Mt. Vernon High School Science Teacher.
“Digital Learning Pathway reminded me of the importance of accessibility and intentional usage in the classroom. There are many simple features that can be used on the students' Chromebooks to help students, such as: making the cursor larger, select to speak, color contrast, select to speak, and the snap and read feature was beneficial for my low readers. I learned that creating a safe environment virtually is just as important as the physical one. Also, setting up boundaries and having clear expectations will help my students be successful. I appreciated the strong focus of feedback during this course as it has helped me be more aware of the kind of feedback I give," said Anya Stover, McCordsville Elementary School Third Grade Teacher.
Congratulations to all 21 participants in Mt. Vernon’s first Digital Learning Pathway cohort!
Jeff Brandes, MVMS Asst. Principal
Brooke Chapman, MCE 1st Grade
Lena Darnay, CIESC
Kyra Davis, FES 4th Grade
Casey Dodd, MVHS Principal
Misty Hall, Curriculum Integration Coordinator
Alyson Hornaday, FES 2nd Grade
Dan Keeler, MES 4th Grade
Ryan King, MES Asst. Principal
Kristina Monagle, MVMS Science
Mark Noesges, MVHS Math
Nick Ragan, MVHS English
Greg Rollo, Director of Technology
Jordan Sell, MCE 5th Grade
LeeAnn Sherman, MCE 3rd Grade
Scott Shipley, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Stephanie Stanley, MES 5th Grade
Anya Stover, MES 2nd Grade
Katie Thompson, FES Special Education
Jaime Wilson, MVHS Science
Alyson Zelencik, MVHS Teacher Librarian