Writes one student: “The most valuable part of this class was the teacher…I could think of no better man to teach a course on this subject.”

Comments another: “The teacher was always open to questions and encouraged us to act like we were in a real classroom, for example we never had our mics muted.”

Indeed, our MSON teachers are a special breed. They come to us already identified as top teachers at their schools. They then train, working closely with our Dean of Instruction, to develop a class unlike any most of them have taught before—online, flipped, and with students from across the country. Our students often share that they are in touch with their teachers years after an MSON course has ended.

As I read through year-end survey results on our fall classes, I’m struck by students’ responses to the question, “What was the most valuable attribute of this class?” The most common answer: “my teacher.”

One of the highlights of the year for me is meeting our new teachers in person at the MSON Annual Workshop. New teachers gather with returning teachers and Academic and Technical Liaisons to build community and prepare for the upcoming school year. We also connect on issues that affect all of us at our schools, such as student wellness, school schedules, and classroom community. We all learn a tremendous amount, and the relationships we build carry through the school year and benefit the program. For example, Academic Liaisons meet new teachers in person and are able, therefore, to identify which of their students might be well suited to take that teacher’s class.

This year, the Annual Workshop will take place June 24-26th in Nashville, TN. We are grateful to University School of Nashville for hosting. Save the date—and stay tuned for more information!

We also support our teachers—and adults at all member schools—during the school year. We’re pleased to announce new offerings for professional development workshops through our collaboration with Stanford Online High School and the Bay Area BlendEd Consortium, BOLT Summit. Dates are below, and we will circulate links to join sessions in January.

Happy Holidays!

Food for Thought

A “grab-bag” of articles I’m reading this week:

Online learning at the college and graduate school level is on the rise (a great rationale for exposing students to online learning in high school!)
Distance Learning Enrollment Inches Upward, Report Finds” EducationDive
As many of our schools focus on student wellness, a fascinating description of the growth of college classes about coping with stress and finding happiness.
Designing life: How College Courses in Coping are Booming,” Christian Science Monitor.
A great take on the interdisciplinary nature of computational thinking—the same philosophy as MSON’s computational thinking class.
How to Emphasize, Teach and Use Computational Thinking” EducationDive