Although online learning often eliminates social distractions like bullying, cliques, and social hierarchies, the potential for isolation ignites concern for many parents. While removing these obstacles can enhance the quality of learning for some students, socialization can prepare students to handle difficult situations in college and future jobs. It is with this understanding that Garnet Valley has built an eSchool Studio where students can come onto campus to complete work, socialize with other students, meet with their guidance counselor, or get help with coursework. All eSchool@GarnetValley students have the option to complete work at home, in any one of our school's newly redesigned libraries, or in our eSchool Studio.
Unlike other online and blended providers that utilize a canned digital curriculum, eSchool@GarnetValley leverages Garnet Valley curricula (the same that is used in our traditional face-to-face classrooms) that has been built and vetted by Garnet Valley teachers.
When implemented well, online and blended learning options give teachers an opportunity to transform the educational experience — to meet the needs of a broader group of learners, individualize instruction, and transform education for everyone. What separates Garnet Valley's eSchool program from others that use a purchased/canned digital curriculum, is that our blended and online courses use the same curricula as our traditional face-to-face courses. All eSchool@GarnetValley curricula are written, developed, and digitized by Garnet Valley teachers, maintaining the high standard and rigor of the Garnet Valley School District. All of our teachers go through intensive training to write, develop, and digitize courses, whether teaching in our brick and mortar schools, online, or somewhere in between. The following is a brief explanation of that process:
Phase 1: Student-Centered Instructional Design
Professional learning connected to the University of Pennsylvania and focused on the BDA lesson design structure and the Model of Engagement; The work is focused in the areas of Guided Instructions, Screen Recordings/Video Reflections, Project-Based Learning, and Online Assessments with an emphasis on how to improve delivering content in today’s digital learning environments.
Phase 2: Student-Centered Curriculum Design
Professional learning on and development of a current, researched-based, backward design model. As part of our 5-year curriculum cycle, the Understanding by Design 2.08 (UbD 2.0) Curriculum Template, housed in our Content Management System (G Suite), guides our ongoing curriculum work.
Phase 3: Student-Centered Resource Design
Professional learning focused on student-centered resource design that is connected directly to our UbD 2.0 curriculum templates. Topics include defining Open Education Resources (OER), copyright and fair use, attributions, Creative Commons and licensing, collecting, curating and creating high-level OER. Student-Centered Resource Design work includes the collection, curation, and creation of OER-based curriculum resource modules specifically aligned to Garnet Valley student learning outcomes.
Phase 4: Student-Centered Course Design & Digitization
Digitization from our Content Management System (G Suite) into our Learning Management System (Schoology) for traditional, blended, and online/virtual courses. All courses are co-created and digitized by our teachers and instructional coaches.