Monday, August 2, 2010

The Growth of WSFCS Online Learning

Sometime in June, WSFCS Online Learning had it's 600th participant receive credit for an online technology course since October of last year. If I'd planned ahead I would have had confetti and balloons falling from the ceiling and a shopping spree for the lucky teacher.

Although I think 600 is a huge number, and we'll exceed 700 almost immediately in the new school year when courses again open for enrollment, I think the numbers are only important in that they show the growth and the prospects for the future.

The real story is the way our district has changed the ways we offer professional development to better meet the needs of our educators. Teacher's time is at a premium, and while I think it will always be important to offer face-to-face workshop in professional development, teachers appreciate having the option of taking some courses and some coursework online. Courses can be self-paced and participants can choose when to take the courses. This can be a important factor for teachers who need more time in workshops or educator's whose schedules don't always allow them to attend the workshop when scheduled at their schools. There is tremendous value in allowing educators in our district these choices.

So what does the future hold for WSFCS Online Learning? The site and course catalog has grown exponentially over the last year, and there will be more and more professional development in many different areas for interested educators. We'll continue working with the great folks in our instructional department to make sure all professional development has a place on our site, and we hope to build programs that help new teachers in our district. So we're growing and hope you'll take the time to experience online learning for yourself. You might find the time and ownership it affords you is exactly the ingredient you need in your professional development in the new school year.

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