MSU offers free program to support K-12 school districts

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 4:29 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University now has created several support programs and materials to help Michigan’s K-12 school districts prepare for online instruction this fall.

Many parents and their children are having a hard time with adjusting to the online format.

The Foundations of Successful Online Teaching & Learning program series that was developed by both MSU’s Enhanced Digital Learning Initiative and Okemos Public Schools. The program series is designed to help teachers understand and adopt the mindsets of successful online instructors.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all made physical modifications to the ways we teach, conduct research and interact, but MSU’s land-grant mission and purpose are strong and persistent. Through these programs, our commitment to student success and academic excellence reaches far beyond our MSU classrooms,” said MSU’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs Teresa Woodruff. “We are excited to have the opportunity to provide Michigan school districts with a foundation for successful online teaching and learning.”

The program offers free access to a district-specific, five-module Google Classroom site. Teachers are able to navigate through the site at their own pace, gain access to the modules, and can communicate with local districts.

The following modules will be based on class design and planning, online assessment and feedback, groups and collaboration, universal design for learning and accessible community building, and meaningful engagement and interactions.

The program can be modified, supplemented with added content or customized upon request.

Additional resources from MSU include a free mini massive open online course developed by the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program in the College of Education to help schools with the rapid transition to remote instruction.

The course was designed for supporting last spring’s sudden shift to remote teaching; some of the key teachings are applicable to this fall. The College of Education also offers a three-course, nine-credit, Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning, focusing on in-depth, skilled online teaching.

“Educators at all levels are challenged right now to meet the needs of their students while struggling with new modes of instruction and a technological learning curve,” said associate provost for teaching, learning and technology Jeff Grabill. “We are fortunate to have experts who can help and the responsibility as a public university to do so.”

This MSU initiative has been led by Scott Schopieray, assistant dean for academic and research technology at the College of Arts and Letters; Jeremy Van Hof, director of learning technology and development at the Eli Broad College of Business; and Candace Robertson, assistant director of student experience and outreach for the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program in the MSU College of Education, whose expertise has led MSU's online and hybrid learning efforts.

Resources are open to all K-12 educators and schools. For more information, click here.

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