Seven LCPS educators whose work helps ensure the quality of the district’s benchmark digital learning initiative earned their NC Department of Instruction Rethink Education Facilitator badge as members of the initial cohort trained to become experts in using new statewide blended learning models that add online learning to existing classroom instruction.
Melissa Lynch, District Digital Learning Instructional Coordinator, and School-Based Digital Learning Specialists Angeli Jarman of Southwood Elementary, Catherine Lynch of Moss Hill Elementary, Elizabeth Moon of Lenoir County Learning Academy, Suzanna Moye of South Lenoir High, Kristin Stroud of La Grange Elementary and Jodi Stocks Peele of Pink Hill Elementary.
They and other members of this inaugural cohort of 293 educators will now serve as facilitators who will help prepare teachers across the state to deliver high-quality co-education in a variety of settings and situations, according to the NCDPI.
“Educators who are trained in the statewide blended learning model are equipped to meet the needs of all learners by facilitating classroom differentiation, supporting student engagement, and increasing student engagement. student ownership of their learning,” said Melissa Davis, Director of Virtual Instructional Support Services. Division at NCDPI. “This group of dedicated educators is leading the way to ensure our schools are ready to focus on what matters most: supporting NC student success, no matter where they learn.”
With the support of a federal grant, Rethink Education is partnering with districts and schools across the state to prepare for any short- or long-term learning disruption by developing plans tailored to the specific needs of their students. school communities. These partnerships are focused on improving blended learning, which combines face-to-face and online instruction, access and content for K-8 students.
“Blended learning models provide a structure teachers can use to ensure content and technology work together and enable the most learner-centered environment possible,” said Melissa Lynch. Lynch leads the group of 17 digital learning specialists, who work with teachers in their assigned schools to maximize the use of digital devices and related technologies.
LCPS is in the eighth year of its digital learning initiative, which has put iPads in the hands of all K-12 students and provided iPads and MacBooks to all teachers. The district’s experience with these devices and the apps that turn them into teaching tools helped it make a quick transition to remote learning when the coronavirus pandemic shut down classrooms in March 2020. However, the district pandemic has also revealed the shortcomings of teaching in a purely digital environment. , especially in rural counties like Lenoir, where internet access can be spotty.
“The Rethink Education program is here to help districts and schools think about what capacity building for co-education looks like in their community,” Davis said. “Because we live in a highly digital society, we need to meet the students on their ground.”
Sixty-five school districts, 33 charter schools and one lab school are part of the Rethink Education initiative. Another group of LCPS educators is already training in the second cohort of the Rethink program.