GEAR UP Partnership Provides Online Learning for Teachers


December 2, 2013 – With help from a new Seminole State GEAR UP partner, Teachers and administrators at the partner schools have a new way to learn more about innovative approaches to reach students and help ensure their success.

Recently, the OK, Go College! GEAR UP project made an agreement with InfoSource, Inc., owner of the online Professional Development and Teacher Learning Community at the internet site www.simplek12.com.

The partnership with Simple K12 provides a limited number of annual memberships for teachers and administrators who work directly with the GEAR UP cohort group of students. The annual full-access memberships allow the committed educators to access all areas of the site which includes courses and webinars in use of technology in the classroom, alignment of outcomes with Common Core standards, blended learning concepts, flipped classroom concepts and more.

The site also allows the member to search for content specifically addressing resources and practices related to specific subject areas, specific age groups or specific needs.

Additionally, the site includes forums that allow the educators to communicate with other education professionals throughout the country and the world.

“The site is perfect for our teachers and administrators at our relatively small rural school districts,” said Rusty Beene, GEAR UP Professional Development Coordinator. “By using Simple K12, our teachers can improve their abilities to help our students succeed without having to travel to conferences or seminars. That can save costs for the districts and save time for the teachers who already wear many hats at our small schools.”

SimpleK12_TLC

The GEAR UP staff allocated the available memberships to each of the 15 districts and contacted the GEAR UP lead teachers to solicit interest in the memberships.

“We only had a certain number of memberships, so we needed to make sure our teachers who sign up will commit to a certain amount of use of the site,” Beene said. “Their time on the site will allow us to report that as GEAR UP-sponsored professional development and also ensure that the districts and the students are receiving maximum benefit from our arrangement.”

While the full-access memberships will expire at the end of November of this year, Beene said the project staff will review the use of the site, analyze costs and participation, and consider expansion in the number of memberships for the grant’s next fiscal year