It’s no secret COVID-19 has affected every part of our daily lives, forcing us to rethink the way we work, connect, and educate. As schools began to close around the country in the early days of the pandemic, parents helped their children shift to a remote learning experience and took an active role in their education. When the spring semester ended, school districts and families alike had difficult choices to make: do we resume in-person learning come fall? Parents took the time to weigh their options, and many turned to schools with proven success in online education—schools such as ASU Prep Digital. So how did ASU Prep Digital meet the rising demand for online learning?
Expanding the program to include grades K-12
ASU Prep Digital was founded in 2017 with several goals in mind. They aimed to not only prepare students for college acceptance with a rigorous curriculum that combined university courses with online high school, but also personalize the learning experience, giving every student the tools and support needed to be successful both in and out of the classroom.
When students across the country were forced to finish out their spring semester virtually, ASU Prep Digital sprung into action and began the process of expanding its program to welcome elementary and middle school students in the fall. Families looking for stability after a rocky spring gravitated toward ASU Prep Digital, increasing their enrollment by almost 700 percent.
Introducing the Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute
Students aren’t the only ones learning to adapt to hybrid or remote learning environments. Teachers have also had to make the transition, which includes learning new tools to enhance their online classrooms and discovering ways to keep their students engaged through a screen.
Recognizing the need to support teachers across Arizona during this difficult time, Arizona State University, the Arizona Department of Education, the Helios Foundation, and Governor Doug Ducey’s office collaborated to bring the Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute to life. Managed by ASU Prep Digital, the Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute provides a flexible menu of training options for schools and teachers throughout the state, free of charge. With a range of topics and sessions, teachers can learn how to thrive and adapt to the ever-changing educational landscape through the pandemic and beyond. Visit their website to learn more and to see a calendar of the sessions.
Presenting at virtual conferences
Though large gatherings have ceased for the time being, ASU Prep Digital has still found ways to share their experiences and expertise with educators all around the world. The annual ASU + GSV Summit was held virtually this year, making it even more accessible for those who may not have been able to attend in person. ASU Prep Digital hosted several sessions during the conference, speaking to their success in transforming K-12 education with the help of Arizona State University. You can learn more about this year’s event and register for the 2021 summit by visiting their website.
ASU will also be hosting REMOTE K12, the Connected Teacher Summit on January 9, 2021. This free, virtual event is designed to provide teachers with effective techniques, tools, and insights for online/blended learning while engaging with colleagues from all around the country. Teachers can even earn an ASU-certified Professional Development Credential by attending the event and filling out a post-show survey. Check out their website to learn more about the event and sessions that will be offered.
And this week, ASU Prep Digital is presenting at EdPalooza, a virtual conference hosted by ExcelinEd that aims to connect policymakers and educators in an effort to retool education. The three-day event will feature EdVision keynote speakers, EdTalks, and more than 100 Palooza sessions where attendees will be able to interact virtually and learn about the latest education trends, technology, and solutions. Visit their website to register and learn more about the event.
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