LEWISTON, Idaho – With Idaho state K-12 public schools under a soft closure order for the remainder of this school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lewis-Clark State College is helping teachers earn credit for delivering remote and online instruction through a workshop.
Mark Haynal, chair of the Teacher Education Division at LC State, said when the Idaho State Board of Education adopted the first soft school closure and restricted in-person classes in Idaho in late March, he reached out to superintendents in Idaho Region II to let them know the college would be willing to work with them to design a way for their teachers, who were learning how to deliver remote and online instruction, to get professional development credit for it.
“Teachers were having to do a lot of training and retooling and I thought it would be great to make it easy for the districts and teachers to get some professional development credit for it,” Haynal said. “We have always helped these districts offer academic credit for the training they do.”
Haynal said the college developed an ED491 workshop along with a simple syllabus designed for a particular school district. As other school districts signed up, they used the original syllabus as a model for their syllabus. Four districts are currently helping teachers earn credits, which can be used to renew their teaching certifications. The four districts are Cottonwood, Potlatch, Nezperce and Genesee.
Haynal said to help the teachers, the LC administration agreed to lower the fee from $50 per credit to $25 per credit as a way to show the college’s support of its partners in education during this difficult time.
“We figured teachers were getting all sorts of new training and practice, so they ought to get credit for it,” Haynal said.
The workshop will help teachers identify and use online resources and services to design and deliver their remote and online instruction, research and implement ways to effectively deliver the online curriculum that has been taught in the classroom, and then to evaluate the effectiveness of online and remote instruction strategies. The teachers can complete the required work at their own pace during a five-week period.
“We want to give teachers all the necessary tools to be successful so their students can be successful,” Haynal said.
For more information about the ED491 workshop or LC State’s Teacher Education Division, contact Haynal at either [email protected] or 208-792-2237.