How LAUSD is transitioning to remote professional learning
April 27, 2020
As the Los Angeles Unified School District navigated the uncertainties of distance learning during this unprecedented time, the Instructional Technology Initiative pivoted to providing online professional learning opportunities. As a department within the district’s Division of Instruction, ITI’s mission is to establish a continuum of professional learning experiences to implement technology in rigorous, effective ways grounded in the International Society for Technology in Education Standards.  For the 2019-2020 school year, ITI had developed, designed, and was prepared to deliver more than 130 face-to-face professional learning sessions to LAUSD educators. However, COVID-19 circumstances required the team to be nimble in repurposing professional learning sessions.  To support educators in this dramatic shift to online learning, the ITI team facilitated 12 live, online sessions focused on the ISTE Standard: Global Collaborator where more than 5,000 LAUSD educators learned over three days. The ISTE Standard: Global Collaborator focuses on the opportunities afforded by connecting and collaborating with others locally and globally.  The sessions concluded with virtual breakout rooms where educators explored video conferencing tools that could be leveraged to connect with students, staff, and families. For example, one particular tool explored by educators was MIT Unhangout. After exploring it in an ITI session, Reseda Charter High School Principal Melanie Welsh implemented her learnings with her staff during an all school staff meeting.  For many teachers, a synchronous online session was a new experience and was at times an overwhelming experience. For others, it was an exciting opportunity to add to their repertoire of established digital teaching and learning strategies. Overall, ITI was able to support LAUSD educators in taking their first steps toward remote learning grounded in pedagogy. 
The Instructional Technology Initiative helped educators at Los Angeles Unified School District pivot to online professional development.
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