This session will focus on a class taught by Ms. Jennifer Maldonado. Before the 2015-2016 school year began, Leyden High Schools, a two high school district outside of Chicago, decided to run a class in a remote location.  The class is called “Taste of Teaching” and is an introduction for students interested in pursuing a career in education. Students are taught lesson design, professional standards, and pedagogy for the first eight weeks of the class. After this period, the students teaching under the direct supervision and guidance of cooperating elementary or middle school teachers get hands-on experience working with children for one class period each day four days each week. Throughout the school year,  the high school program-supervising instructor evaluates the program participants and continues classroom instruction one day a week.

Working with Dr. Todd Veltman an instructional technology coach, Ms. Maldonado began the task of creating a distance learning class from scratch in the course of three months. The first order of business was designing a physical space in both the remote location as well as the “regular” classroom which promoted a positive learning environment. The learning spaces were initially designed partly out of administrative and monetary convenience, but were redesigned after the first three weeks of class to create an environment to promote better interaction between the students in all locations and the instructor. The curriculum was redesigned to reflect current research on distance learning. The pedagogy evolved as the students gave feedback as to what was working best to promote a positive learning environment.


STRENGTH doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from OVERCOMING the things you once thought you COULDN'T.

Successfully Teaching a Modern Distance Learning Class