How does virtual instruction incorporate traditional pedagogical theories? Many of us are familiar with the work of Dr. Madeline Hunter and the approach to lesson planning and lesson delivery that she championed. These tried and true formulas have stood the test of time over the years and have brought generations of teachers and students to successful outcomes. The challenge we are facing today is how to apply these great foundational lessons in a new, innovative format. Proximity Learning is leading in the field by creating a new virtual instruction pedagogy that has the potential to redefine how we think about online learning.
The Proximity Learning virtual pedagogy is a synchronous solution that is based on the same core principles of lesson planning and delivery as Dr. Madeline Hunter’s methods but enables teachers to guide students through an interactive, virtual experience that no one could have imagined fifty years ago. We strive to take effective methods and incorporate them into the future of education.
Instructional standards aligned to National Virtual Teacher Association (NVTA) rubric
Proximity Learning encourages our educators to use effective teaching methods in their online classrooms. As best practices in virtual instruction continue to evolve, the National Virtual Teacher Association’s rubric has become widely adopted as a tool to measure success. By relying on these standards, educators are able to establish a set of instructional expectations that promote growth and student achievement - all in an online space.
The NVTA objectives provide an excellent framework for nurturing proficient levels of knowledge and skills specifically designed for virtual learning. When standardized criteria are used according to this rubric, teachers feel empowered and able to best meet the needs of their students through reliable and replicable methodologies.
Virtual classroom observations and feedback
Classroom observations and feedback play an integral role in assessing the efficacy of educators. By frequent monitoring, giving meaningful feedback, and aligning students to key standards, administrators are able to help teachers develop a program that is both rigorously supported by best practices in education and appropriately personalized for the needs of their particular student body.
This frequent observation and feedback is designed with the goal of further validating learning implementation and providing the necessary help that each student needs to be successful. Virtual classrooms have unique dynamics that must be addressed and supported. These dynamics can be documented through the use of technology-based observation tools, as well as targeted feedback that’s tailored to the particular needs of learners and educators. This approach helps ensure that virtual classes are operating at optimal levels with regard to learning outcomes and student progress.
Multiple support systems for student success in virtual instruction
Supporting student success in a virtual setting comes in many forms. Engaging content is not enough. Addressing students' social and emotional well-being is a critical area that Proximity Learning teachers are trained to weave into the virtual delivery of instruction. This includes providing multiple opportunities for meaningful interactions, such as virtual collaborative projects, peer-to-peer coaching, and student-led activities. Additionally, teachers must be responsive to individual students’ needs and establish positive relationships to support the student learning experience.
Proximity Learning takes a holistic approach to student engagement by providing technology-based resources, with a focus on giving teachers tools to facilitate differentiated instruction tailored to individual student needs. Our educators have access to interactive whiteboards, break-out rooms, and the ability to easily assign and monitor formative assessments. Proximity Learning also provides comprehensive training in best practices for virtual teaching and learning, so that educators can make the most of their online platforms.
Don’t overlook the importance of a highly qualified teacher!
Innovative instructional strategies, virtual pedagogy, observation and feedback, and multiple supports are critical to the success of education in America moving forward. But what can never be overstated is the critical role that teachers play.
At Proximity Learning, we are leading the way in celebrating, supporting, and engaging the next generation of great teachers. We honor them by creating the new resources and techniques they will need to remain successful for years to come. We are also dedicated to providing resources and support to educators who are already established in the industry. We understand that being a great teacher requires an immense amount of effort and dedication, and we appreciate the challenges that they face with technology-enabled instruction.
By providing leading-edge online tools, continuous professional development courses, and virtual mentoring services, we strive to ensure that all teachers have the support they need to thrive in the classroom. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our students and create brighter futures for them.