Earlier this week I met with Dr. Jenny Hooie and Mr. Tad Douce from the Tri-Rivers Education Computer Association in Marion, Ohio. TRECA http://www.treca.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=1 is our partner in creating blended and online learning opportunities for Worthington students.
A year ago we leased space in the Phoenix building to TRECA digital academy http://www.tdaonline.org/ TDA uses our space to register students and to provide them with individual and small group instruction as needed. As part of our in-kind service agreement with TRECA, TRECA provides Worthington teachers with professional development to better use technology to engage their students.
This year TRECA worked with both TWHS and WKHS teachers and administrators to create new blended learning academies for freshman students transitioning to the high school. Instruction in these academies, offering four core courses,will be “flipped” and will allow the instructor to work with each student individually to meet their learning needs. In addition TRECA collaborated with our teachers to create the online Digital Art course at WKHS and the blended PE course F.A.S.T., offered at both high schools next school year.
After planning with TRECA this week we have even more exciting PD planned to move Worthington into the 21st century. Our hope for next school year is to implement the “Sweet Sixteen.” The “Sweet Sixteen” will be eight teachers from each high school TWHS and WKHS who will commit to spending a year with TRECA helping them to create blended and online versions of their courses. These courses, once created, will provide Worthington students with greater flexibility for scheduling courses that match the way they want to learn, and should lessen conflicts with other desired courses. In addition, TRECA will be holding monthly trainings that all Worthington teachers will have access to. These trainings will be designed to provide interested teachers the tools they need to “flip” their classrooms. Finally we are planning for TRECA PD professionals to go school building by school building to help teachers better utilize their existing SmartBoards for innovative instruction.
Our partnership with TRECA is mutually beneficial and I’m excited for the direction they are helping us move.