Pennsylvania - Local Panel of Administrators: “Our Digital Transition”


It is simply amazing how much talent is in the state of Pennsylvania. In this Local Panel of Administrators discussion, these local administrators happen to be among the best educational minds in America. You’ll hear from Lindsay Smith, K-12 Supervisor of Educational Technology at Central Bucks School District, Jason Jaffe, Director of Technology and Innovation at Central Bucks School District, Tracy Smith, Assistant to the Superintendent of Operations at Parkland School District, and Brian Merrill, Educational Technology Analyst at Central Bucks School District.

Generally, these local administrators panel discussions have been very popular because they represent the most important issues of the day, often presented in a no-holds-barred style. Today’s panel is no exception, as they focused on the eight most popular schooling models coming out of the pandemic.

According to our moderator, Learning Counsel CEO and Publisher LeiLani Cauthen, “The models of schooling right now are drawing a lot of attention nationally. It comes down to whether you are still in the traditional whole group, grade Instructure, maybe you've altered your schedule, you've embedded a lot of technology. Maybe you're already at that point where you're blended and flipped, and you have a different structure for the actual lessons. So, you're doing more hands-on and then all the asynchronous is in a different time slot. And then there's the competency-based contemporary. Those are mostly small schools. It doesn't really scale because you have students all at a different point in every single lesson. And then you find that a lot of the private schools and then online traditional, those schools just took off during the pandemic. And they're doing a ton of selling to consumers. A lot of them are also attached into traditional public school as the separate rail. And then this new thing, emerging hybrid, simultaneous traditional, where teachers are teaching the kids in front of them, as well as the kids on the screen at the same time. And then another brand new thing, the hybrid logistics contemporary model, which is you're not in a classroom all the time, you're in a big homeroom house room, but then when you hit certain steps on your asynchronous learning that are classroom oriented, then you get a notification once the cohort is full and it triggers the classroom moment, but then you're back in the homeroom.”

Tracy Smith, Assistant to the Superintendent of Operations at Parkland School District said, “I would say the challenge is that districts have to be prepared to offer many of these models. They have to be super flexible. Parents want choice. They want personalized learning for their children. And so, you know, we had started working with a blended learning model. We had a consultant and he trained about 60 of our teachers, really intensive training on blended learning, using a lot of the Catlins strategies. And they became like a small army of teachers to help the rest of our 700 teachers. So, I do think that our teachers are familiar with definitely blended learning, live traditional, even what we call concurrent model, which you're calling the hybrid, simultaneous traditional. We are pulling our parents right now, and we are seeing a thread that wants to have online learning options for their child K to 12 in the Fall. So that means we have to be prepared for that to have almost like two versions of our program ready to go. And that means hiring new teachers. Um, we can't really do it with our existing staffing. But it's also an opportunity to really personalize instruction, something we've been talking about - now we're going to have to make it happen.”

You won’t want to miss a minute of this informative, often intense panel discussion. This may be the hottest topic in education today, and is sure to affect learners everywhere.


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