LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner Monday announced the launch of an expanded effort to help educators master online instruction, including the tools and technologies upon which to rely, applying them to help students learn, to lesson planning, and to learning more about how to engage students and their families in online learning.

Nearly all teachers in Los Angeles Unified have completed training in the basics of remote learning and more than half have signed up for an additional 30 hours of professional development in this new effort, according to an LAUSD statement.

“We’ve connected almost all of our secondary school students, providing them with a device and internet access, and in another week or 10 days, we will reach that goal for elementary school students. The emphasis now is to help teachers take their talents online,” Beutner said. “This effort will help educators — teachers and principals — master the tools and technologies, apply them to help students learn, practice lesson planning and teaching and learn more about how to engage students and their families in online learning.”

Educators will work with Los Angeles Unified leaders and education experts as they earn their Future Ready Certification. Guest contributors include Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education; Dr. Jane Margolis, senior researcher at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies; Dr. Mitch Resnick, professor of learning research at the MIT Media Lab; and Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media/Education.

“The Future Ready Certification is another tool for our Los Angeles Unified family to continue professional development online and another way we are investing in our educators,” Los Angeles Board of education President Dr. Richard Vladovic said. “They are the key to the success of our students and will continue to ensure that the quality of instruction is the best.”

Added board Vice President Jackie Goldberg : “I applaud this effort to invest in educators,” she said. “Now that we know that schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year and into the summer, it is important that we encourage principals and teachers to develop and hone the skills they will need for online learning. Students and families are depending on us.”

Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said the pandemic had “created many challenges for school districts across the nation.

“The transition to distance learning has been difficult for all of us, especially for teachers. Over the past few weeks, teachers have had to learn to manipulate distance learning and adapt to different teaching methods and strategies while balancing their work and personal lives.

“They have gone above and beyond to take care of their students and families and have done an excellent job. Providing extra hours of professional development will only improve the quality of instruction and guarantee student success.”

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