Tags: Hybrid Learning
Prior to introducing (DMA) courses at St. John Catholic High School, each individual teacher was responsible for planning, developing, and implementing their own curriculum plans, which often resulted in different experiences for students in the same grade. Additionally, it resulted in a duplication of effort. By using common courses teachers could support each other as they implemented it in their classes. Using the DMA curriculum as their learning framework has allowed teachers time to collaborate and adapt the curriculum to meet the learning needs of their individual students.
The goal of using DMA courses was to have a common framework for teaching and implementing 21st-century skills and technology education throughout existing classes. At St. John Catholic High School, like so many others in 2020, classes went from in-person to fully online to a hybrid model where students are in class part of the day and online part of the day. The new reality of this hybrid model prompted the St. John’s team to decide to teach one DMA course fully online and teacher-directed and to teach one course in person, also teacher-directed.
Teachers and students at the school remarked on how having all the learning materials at their fingertips including videos, lesson plans, and slide decks made implementing the program and teaching the courses very easily. St. John teachers found that courses easily fit into their existing learning structure. For example, the content of the course “Design Studio” can be easily integrated with the existing English curriculum.
Teachers and leaders thought that time constraints due to the new school day would have been an obstacle however the course material was easy to use and integrate into other subjects. This lack of friction was key to a successful rollout. Implementing the same course material for multiple classrooms promotes teacher collaboration. Teacher collaboration was key in providing students with the best learning experiences possible. Teacher collaboration is especially important when much of the content is new, especially in the areas of technology and coding. In many cases, teachers are learning along with their students. Thanks to the well-laid-out content in the DMA courses teachers are able to collaborate and support each other along the way.
Time restraints should have been an obstacle however the course material was easy to integrate into other subjects. This lack of friction was key to a successful rollout.
- Sandra Theobald, High School Teacher, St. John Catholic High School