In addition to being a resource teacher, Heather is the coordinator and one of the teachers for the distance learning program at Campbell Adult and Community Education (CACE). The school offers an ESL Distance Learning program, where students take an instructional DVD and related materials home, or work online, to practice reading, writing, listening, pronunciation, and grammar. Learners meet with an ESL teacher once a week to review their progress. CACE offers eight (8) levels of instruction to accommodate beginning, intermediate, and advanced English learners. Students may enroll in ESL Distance Learning in addition to a traditional ESL class, or take Distance Learning exclusively.
One of the many efforts that Heather is spearheading is to bring more online offerings to both their blended and pure distance learning learners. Last year she participated in OTAC (Online Teaching Academy by OTAN), and got exposure to Moodle learning management system. She has worked with a number of vendors to convert their video checkout materials to the online delivery format.
This year, CACE invested in a number of licenses for EASY ESL Online. Heather will focus on implementing this curriculum in their classroom based ESL program, and if there are a few licenses left over, she will try it with her distance program learners.
As many of us know, implementing new curriculum carries a number of challenges from teacher and learner buy-in to overcoming many types of technical interferences to establishing the level of effectives of the whole effort. During my visit, Heather shared with me the steps she will be taking from November to May in order to get all of things accomplished.
Additional bonus for me was to see Heather work with some of her learners.
I am looking forward to further developments in Heather’s TIMAC project.