Why Collaborate for Online Learning? Because it Just (Net)Works

When COVID forced the world into online learning, we saw educators working tirelessly to learn, implement, iterate and design new digital solutions on the fly.

It’s almost impossible to believe we are now in the third school year affected by the pandemic. While we are all hopeful it is the last, there are many lessons learned and new opportunities created by educators and leaders who used the challenges of school closures to reimagine how and where learning is delivered to students.

While online learning is not a novel idea, in the last two years it has become more widely utilized than ever before. According to a RAND study and supported anecdotally by many local media stories, more than a thousand districts are starting or significantly expanding online or hybrid programs this school year. It’s likely that most of them are doing so in response to a demand from parents and students who value the flexibility of remote learning and want to continue learning in a new, innovative approach.

At Getting Smart we are advocates for choice and believe a strong, effective online learning option should be available to all learners through their neighborhood school. But we know that this work cannot be done alone.

Edleaders are in need of support and other leaders to share best practices and garner expert advice. Enter the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC), an initiative that seeks to support districts and schools as they increase options for students and improve outcomes.

While online learning is not a novel idea, in the last two years it has become more widely utilized than ever before.

Jessica Slusser

Who is the Digital Learning Collaborative?

Started by the Evergreen Education Group, DLC is a membership group made up of educators, providers, supporters and thought leaders who are all committed to improving education for schools and students. All stakeholders in education are invited to join, whether you’re an educator, school board member, reporter, researcher or policymaker.

Given the dramatic shift for many districts, DLC is heavily focused on  meeting the needs of those starting an online or hybrid program. The collaborative ecompasses many different schools and instructional practices, including but not limited to state virtual schools, online schools, hybrid and mainstream schools.

Getting Smart strongly believes in the power of Networks, so we’re excited to have partnered with DLC to help share this opportunity with teachers and leaders in our own community!

The DLC is offering new membership options for districts this year. Membership benefits include ongoing members-only webinars that dig deeper into these topics, with opportunities for discussion among participants, as well as online discussions, “office hours” with experienced practitioners, and extensive practical guides and resources.

DLC webinars, office hours, happy hours, and other events are organized and presented by practitioners, researchers, and others who have many years of experience in the online, blended, and hybrid learning field.

Their new membership option provides for up to five people from your school or district to take advantage of the resources and learning opportunities. A portion of the annual fee to join is also given as credit to attend DLC’s main event, the Digital Learning Annual Conference (read about the most recent conference in our blog recap).

Start Learning Now.

To help support districts, DLC is offering a free webinar series every Monday through November 1st, 2021 that is open to anyone interested in learning from leaders in the field. These webinars will spend 20-30 minutes exploring keys to success in running an online or hybrid school. This includes setting clear and measurable goals, hiring and training teachers, selecting content and technology and engaging families. Following the discussion there will be time for attendees to bring your questions, share your stories and start moving forward in the right direction.

So if you’re thinking about starting an online or hybrid option, or maybe you already have but are running into obstacles, it’s time to join a webinar and learn more about implementing a successful online program. Click here to start learning and networking.

If membership isn’t right at this time, DLC is offering our readers a 10% discount on registration for the Digital Learning Annual Conference! To register, click here and use code DLACSmart22 to save!

The post Why Collaborate for Online Learning? Because it Just (Net)Works appeared first on Getting Smart.

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