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The Ed Tech Leaders Online program has been an invaluable component of Louisiana's efforts to develop online learning experiences for both teachers and students. In particular, ETLO has provided training for teachers in our Louisiana Virtual School and for state and district personnel who are implementing local and statewide online professional development programs.

Sheila Talamo, Assistant Superintendent Office of Quality Educators, Louisiana Department of Education

Implementing and Instructing Virtual School Courses

ETLO's suite of Virtual School Instructor services enables organizations to create custom virtual school programs tailored to their specific needs. Virtual school components can be licensed and run individually or in any combination on our course-management system or on your own. Building a custom Virtual School Instructor Program through EdTech Leaders Online can help your organization do any or all of the following:

The individual components of the virtual school suite of services are described below.

Virtual School Instructor Training

Instructing Virtual School Courses enables educators to become qualified instructors of virtual school courses for students within their local organizations. Throughout the course, participants will develop effective strategies for managing and instructing students in the online course environment and explore the ways online learning can effectively support standards-based teaching and learning in all subject areas. Participants will also learn effective facilitation techniques to build student collaboration in an online learning community and to personalize the learning through online discussion and group projects. In addition, participants will learn specific strategies for meeting the learning needs of all students by applying the principles of universal design. Participants will also become equipped with tools to teach 21st Century skills with careful attention to student academic integrity issues such as plagiarism and the safe and legal use of online resources.  Course content includes online readings, web-based and multimedia activities, and facilitated online discussions.

Virtual School Planning and Preparation

Planning and Implementing Virtual School Courses, a three-session course facilitated by expert ETLO staff, supports school leaders in important planning processes for the development and delivery of a local virtual school program. It includes an in-depth exploration of current virtual school issues, including: establishing goals and defining a model for a virtual school program; developing virtual school policies and procedures; and managing a virtual school program.

Virtual School Professional Development and Online Workshops

Two separate four-session online virtual school workshops, one for staff and one for students, are designed to be locally licensed and facilitated by your organization. Mentoring Virtual School Students prepares educators to be onsite or offsite mentors for virtual school students and to provide them with the skills and techniques to effectively support online students in their charge. It includes an introduction to the virtual course environment, an overview to the diverse learning needs of the online student, and specific training in the skills and techniques needed to effectively support students participating in online courses. Virtual School Orientation prepares students to be successful online learners by familiarizing them with the course environment used in a virtual school. It provides an overview to the requirements and responsibilities of the online student, including guidelines for course participation and credit, technical requirements and skills, and basic netiquette.

Online Professional Development Content and Technology Integration Workshops

High-quality online professional development workshops focused on content and technology integration are available to be locally licensed and facilitated by your organization and can provide critical professional development for instructors of virtual school courses. Each workshop is project-based and contains six sessions which include web-based readings, resources, multi-media activities and online discussions. Examples of available workshops are: Finding the Best Educational Resources on the Web; Special Students in Regular Classrooms: Technology, Teaching and Universal Design; Using Technology to Support Literacy in the Upper Elementary Classroom; Transforming the Classroom with Project-Based Learning; and Using Technology to Model and Analyze Real Data in the Math Classroom.