BLOOMINGTON — The state of Indiana has awarded more than $2.7 million to Indiana University to help improve remote learning for K-12 schools.
The funding, part of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, will support projects designed to support Indiana teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic through the creation and curation of course materials and additional training.
A multicampus project at IU will see faculty from across IU's campuses working in tandem with teachers across the state to identify how online resources align with schools' needs. A team led by Mike Beam, IU's senior assistant vice provost for undergraduate education and assistant vice president for school partnerships, will create a repository of complete courses for remote learning that will be fully developed and available for the 2021-22 school year.
"Our objective really is to increase resiliency and increase capacity around remote learning and supporting students and teachers," Beam said. "Teachers are absolute experts, and they have all the right skills. It's just that most folks haven't had a supported way of applying those skills in a remote-learning structure."
IU East will provide free tuition toward a graduate certificate in online instruction and assessment. The certificate has been available since 2012, but interest has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The opportunity will be available to 62 teachers who are part of the East Central Indiana Educational Service Center. The program will start in October and will be co-taught by IU East faculty and K-12 educators in the region.
IUPUI will use funding to create a digital remote education hub with a focus on equity and inclusion. The online resource will provide tutorials, learning modules, webinars, and model lesson plans for families and educators.
"Teachers provide the work, but the parents have been expected to help their children work through it," Jeremy Price, assistant professor of technology, innovation and pedagogy in urban education, said. "Part of our mission is to help families do that, but also to help educators learn to partner with families and communities for the benefit of students, particularly during these times in which educational inequalities are magnified."