CSI launches free online-learning program designed for teachers and parents

College of Southern Idaho and Idaho Digital Learning Alliance have partnered to launch a free online program designed to help teachers and parents make the most of the abrupt shift to online learning.

CSI and IDLA obtained a grant from the Workforce Development Council to launch the Tools for Remote Learning program with five online learning modules last week.

The program is designed to provide educators with best practices around teaching and learning flexibility and help parents understand and better navigate this unprecedented shift to online learning.

CSI’s team was developing a full teacher preparation program focusing on the teacher pipeline and retention when the coronavirus pandemic hit and the idea came together.

Christina Linder

“All of a sudden this bright light comes on and we realized what we have needed to do forever is to dually prepare our teachers to teach both face-to-face and online,” said Christina Linder, CSI’s director for nontraditional certification.

With support from the Workforce Development Grant, the team enlisted the help of curriculum designer Melissa Linton.

Linton based the learning modules around Charlotte Danielson and the Danielson Group’s Framework for Teaching Clusters and aligned the modules with National Standards for Quality Online Learning.

The learning modules include videos, documents, slide presentations, smart cards and ideas for teachers and parents to implement remote learning with their student.

Some of it is more suitable for teachers and contains detailed information and uses educational terms and jargon.

Other parts, such as the parent video, are more easily accessible. The parent video introduces a few terms that may be new to parents, such as classroom management. The video introduces the concept of building routines and setting up a kid’s classroom environment so they can learn.  Then it points viewers to a more detailed module or cluster with additional information.

“We just want to be part of the answer and part of the stress relief and we feel like we have the mission and the capacity to do it,” Linder said.

The program is available online and is free for any Idaho teacher or parent or member of the public to access after creating a free online account with CSI. CSI also offers options for teachers to earn professional development credits for completing the modules.

If school districts would like more information about how to utilize the program, they may send Linder an e-mail message at [email protected].

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