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Meeting the Challenges of Remote Seminars

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Leadership

Delaware Teachers Institute is a collaborative partnership between five New Castle County School Districts and the University of Delaware. Our leadership explicitly reflects that partnership. This initiative is co-led by a teacher leadership team, the DTI Steering Committee, representing all five partner districts and the DTI Director, a University employee.  The Director and Steering Committee are also supported by a university advisory committee comprised of University of Delaware faculty members.

The leadership recognized the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • In-person, on campus seminars were a key feature of our program
  • Seminar leaders (UD Faculty members) and Fellows (K-12 teachers) had varying degrees of comfort using a fully remote model
  • Fellows were navigating a novel and challenging shift in their districts, from in-person to remote to hybrid instructional models, that changed rapidly and often
  • Accepted teachers had agreed to a Fellowship before the pandemic brought so many unforseen personal and professional challenges
  • Many Fellows were juggling family responsibilities, illnesses and remote instruction for their own children in addition to their professional responsibilities
The leadership team responded to these challenges with a commitment to providing the same, high quality DTI experience while also embracing technology and its potential. They remain committed to meeting the needs of DTI Fellows and excited to suppor teachers as they develop new skills and new understandings about both content standards and the many ways technology can be used to meet them.

DTI has always prioritized the voice of our Fellows. As we work together to overcome these challenges and maximize our opportunities, we welcome your feedback. Please contact your district representative on our Steering Committee or the Director at any time.

Tools

Accessing Remote Seminars on Zoom

Due to ongoing public health concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, DTI Seminar willl be hosted on Zoom for the entirety of the 2021 program. (April 2021-December 2021) More information about how to use Zoom can be found using this Zoom @ UD link.

Zoom was chosen as our online meeting platform since the University offers the professional version of Zoom and many K-12 districts are using this platform to teach their students. Both Fellows and Seminar Leaders have developed proficiency with this platform. Tips and tricks are shared by both Fellows and Seminar Leaders as new versions allow for new features.

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

  • Canvas: Some of the DTI Seminar Leaders utilize Canvas to manage their seminar materials. When DTI Fellows are onboarded as "affiliated professionals" they are given a UD email and password. These credentials can be used to login to the Canvas site for your seminar. More information about Canvas, including help sections, can be found on the UD IT website.
  • Poll Everywhere: The University has recently licensed Poll Everywhere for use by all faculty and staff. Your "affiliated professionals" status should allow you access to this resource as well. Using this in seminar will give you valuable experience as you use these polls in your own classroom.
Library Access

Normally, DTI Fellows, while researching and writing about thier unit topic, would visit the Morris Library at UD to access a wide array of resources. Those resources are now available online! With your UD email and password, you are able to access research articles, books, multimedia, support from research librarians and more. Visit the library's page and search for your topic of choice.

Reference Tools

DTI Fellows write a curriculum unit as their culminating project. This resource is designed to be used by you in your classroom and published by DTI for other teachers to access. In order to give proper credit to the sources you use for your unit you will need to provide citations. The University of Delaware library provides some excellent citation management tools (for free!) to help. Check out this research guide for a comparison of these tools and choose the one that works best for you.


Learn from other Fellows

Many teachers choose to participate in DTI year after year. These veteran Fellows embrace the opportunities for collaboration and leadership. Check out these screencasts of Fellows sharing tips on the unit writing process.

Writing with endnotes - Lynn Gallo, Colonial School District

Appendix B - Hybrid, Remote, or In-Person adapations - Monica Cohen, NCCVT

Creating an LFS Map - Barbara Prillaman, Red Clay School District


Resources

Accessibility

DTI Fellowship applications are open to any full time teacher in grades K-12 working in one of our partner districts. (RCCSD, Colonial, NCCVT, Christina or Appo) If you require accomodations to participate in Seminar please reach out to the Director to make arrangements.

Website accessibility is important to DTI. We strive to meet or exceed the Website Accessibility Guidelines set forth by the American Disabilities Act. Our curriculum database was recently updated moving the curriculum documents into html format. This increases their accessibility. If you have any problem using our site, please contact the Director and provide the URL (web address) in question, information about the problem you experienced and your contact information. We will work to provide the information you need and to remedy the access issue.

Empowering Fellows

During remote seminars, Fellows have the opportunity to discuss the technologies they are using and the ways they hope to implement their curriculum units. Many of these discussions focus on key elements of the ISTE standards. (International Society for Technology in Education) The ISTE Standards for Educators are meant to be a "road map to helping students become empowered learners". They address the many roles of a technologically advanced educator: Learner, Leader, Citizen, Collaborator, Designer, Facilitator and Analyst. Some of the standards practiced during seminar or the unit writing process include:

  • Standard 1: Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.
  • Standard 2c: Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.
  • Standard 4: Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems.
  • Standard 5: Educators design authentic, learner-driven activities and environments that recognize and accommodate learner variability.

We encourage DTI Fellows, and all teachers to further explore these standards as they design and implement their curriculum. ISTE has developed standards for students, educators, education leaders, coaches and an additional set of computational thinking competencies for educators. They are all available on the ISTE website.

Budgetary Considerations

The shift to a remote seminar plan led the leadership to implement some budgetary adjustments. Fellows provide their own computers to access seminar. Oftentimes, these are district provided devices since this is a district sponsored program. The UD Faculty Seminar Leaders also provide their own devices, oftentimes procured by the University in the course of their employment. Staffing also stayed the same with the exception of the database redesign. A contracted service was engaged to complete this work. DTI will continue to look for ways to budget for additional support as we enter into the second year of our remote plan. The following table outlines the expenses DTI has covered, with both program funds and grants, relative to our remote plan.

ResourceCost
​Marketing/Recruitment​$2,500
​Unit Database Redesign​$3,600
​Appendix B Supplement​$2,000
​Books, instructional supplies & postage​$3,000


 Learn more about Delaware Teachers Institute!

Teachers in Appo, Christina, Colonial, NCCVT and Red Clay:


Apply for a Fellowship today!

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Meeting the Challenges of Remote Seminars
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