WTA Introduction‎ > ‎

Virtual Courses

Please share any updates or information you have about this area so I can update the page. - Maureen

The presence of Virtual Schools such as the Massachusetts Virtual Academy in Greenfield and the proposed TEC Connections Academy in Dedham is growing.  While the initial reaction from teachers is cautious at most, the topic is one which is here to stay.  Guiding the process with meaningful input and answering the many questions that arise is the challenge at hand.  High school teacher and WTA building representative Eva Urban-Hughes has experience with virtual courses and has agreed to summarize the key questions as part of educating our membership.

The Education Cooperative (TEC) is a group of 15 school districts including Wayland.  Traditionally, TEC has offered professional development courses for teachers but is now increasing its presence with online course offerings.  Leisha Simon, Director of Technology in Wayland, is one of the TEC Online Academy Advisory Committee members.  Ed Dehoratius, Wayland High School Latin and English Teacher, will be offering two Latin and two Archeology virtual courses through TEC this (2014-2015) year.  Follow this link for more information about the TEC online academy.

In a recent Middlebury Alumni Magazine, there is an article about the (foreign) language gap in the United States.  The article is built around an interview with Jane Swift, former Massachusetts governor and current CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL), a joint venture between Middlebury College and K12, Inc.  The basic idea is that Middlebury language instructors would design a language immersion curriculum and K12 would help translate that curriculum to the web.  The article provides a foundation for the discussion of how online courses and technology may affect the world we teach in.  The article is available here.

Eva has summarized information in two files available below.

Virtual Courses at Wayland:

At WHS, Ed DeHoratius teaches a split class where the class meets one half of the regularly scheduled periods, and students use the other periods for working independently or connecting with teacher and classmates electronically.  Some of the questions that arise from this situation are how one evaluates giving teacher and student credit for the course.  Should the course count as the full 0.2 FTE for the teacher?  Does the student receive regular credit for the course?  If a teacher were to offer an online course outside of the regular course load, who would pay the teacher?  Would that extra course be replacing a classroom teacher?

At WHS, Ken Rideout is teaching...

At WHS, Eva Urban Hughes is teaching a government course with four enrolled students.