The Wellsville Central School District in Wellsville, NY, Allegany County teaches grades PK-12. There are 1200 students and 300 staff members in the school district. The school has two buildings on two different locations for its elementary and secondary school.
How does VEDAMO help Wellsville Central School District to conduct their unique hybrid model?
Currently, the Wellsville Central School District works in-person and applies a unique hybrid learning model with some of its students. Their French teacher Liz Colvin teaches two groups of students gathered in physical classrooms remotely:
- The first group attends a classroom on-site in one location and Liz conducts her lessons remotely through VEDAMO Virtual Classroom.
- In the second group, there are five students on-site in one classroom and two students in another and Liz gathers them in her VEDAMO lessons.
Liz uses VEDAMO in direct integration with Google Classroom. She uses Google Classroom to assign homework and keep the students’ grades. VEDAMO’s online whiteboard allows her to engage the students in various learning activities during her real-time hybrid sessions.
What technical setup does Wellsville School use for their hybrid sessions?
- Moderator on-site who supports the lesson by maintaining discipline.
- A computer with VEDAMO Virtual Classroom plugged to a big screen (TV and Smartboard), visible to all the students on-site. Thus, the students can clearly see Liz and the study content she shares.
- A special camera, which captures the student who is talking on-site. It helps Liz follow the student activity during her lessons.
- Speakers with a microphone, located in the middle of the classroom, so that everybody can hear and can be heard.
- The students from the first group on-site have iPads. They use them to work on VEDAMO’s online whiteboard, along with their teacher and peers from the second group.
- The students from the second group, who attend the lesson remotely from the other classroom, have MacBooks and use them to complete the activities on the whiteboard.
Here is what Liz and Tony Fountain, IT Dept Manager, shared about the key benefits of using VEDAMO:
Benefits for the students:
- The virtual classroom is user-friendly and the students get used to it easily.
- The online whiteboard allows them to be actively engaged during the whole lesson with various types of activities.
- The tools give them the opportunity to concentrate and creative.
Benefits for the teacher:
- VEDAMO provides high-quality classroom management tools. Liz shared that before using VEDAMO she had to rely so much on the aid on-site – not only for classroom management, but also to ensure that students are working on the study activities and are following the lesson content. Since she uses VEDAMO, she can easily manage the students remotely and be part of what they are doing during the class. When she engages them with activities on the whiteboard, she can see if they left the page by using the distraction-monitoring tool. This helped her not to rely so much on the aid on-site.
- VEDAMO is very user-friendly. Liz shared that she is getting better on the platform every day. For example, she uploads pictures from the textbook onto the whiteboard and the students can write on them.
- VEDAMO team provides excellent teacher training and support, which helps the teacher find simple solutions to all the problems.
Benefits for the school district from an organizational perspective:
- VEDAMO is web-based, requires little setup and scales easily whatever technology you are using – computers, iPads, MacBook, Smartboard, etc.
- There is a direct integration with Google Classroom which allows easy implementation of blended learning.
- VEDAMO provides the ability to really control and direct online teachers, which improves the students’ academic achievement.
- The hybrid learning with VEDAMO in the in-person classroom prevents potential educational disruption – e.g. if somebody is on maternity leave or needs to stay connected remotely; you can even teach a class in another district.
Currently most of the classes in Wellsville Central School District are fully in-person, but if for any reason they need to go online, they will definitely use VEDAMO, because it has so many options for teachers.
VEDAMO gives the district so many options to bring other online classes,” shared Tony. “It can solve so many problems with teachers’ shortages in the district – for example, computer science teachers. We can easily collaborate with colleagues from other schools to do online teaching. The schools can share one and the same teacher, especially when they are not teaching full time. If the district adopts that solution, everybody will do the same thing.