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Distance Learning and Instructional Materials

The Role of High-Quality Instructional Materials to Support Distance Learning Webinar Notes.

CDE Presenters:

  • Rachael Maves, Deputy Superintendent, Instruction and Measurement Branch
  • Shanine Coats, Director, Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division

CalCurriculum Presenters:

  • Shannah Estep, Senior Outreach Specialist, EdReports.org
  • Allison Carter, Vice President, Education Programs, Pivot Learning
  • Manny Barrera, Program Manager, Pivot Learning


Key Takeaways

  1. CDE: Instructional Materials Support
    • Standards, curriculum frameworks, and instructional resources part of process to ensure use of high-quality, accessible materials
    • IQC advises SBE on curriculum/instruction
    • CFIRD supports IQC, oversees instructional material adoption, produces specialized media
    • Webinar will address how instructional materials can support learning models for next year
  1. California Curriculum Collaborative
    • Partnership between Pivot Learning, EdReports, and CDE
    • Supports California districts in search for instructional resources
    • EdReports provides reports on educational materials
    • Pivot Learning works with districts to improve learning through adoption of high-quality materials
  1. Overview
    • Learning Goals
      • Reflect on current varied teaching/learning contexts
      • Understand selection of materials according to context
      • Identify guidance/support for planning for next school year
    • Distance Learning means student and instructor are in different locations
      • Includes use of technology or print materials
      • Synchronous or asynchronous
  1. There are a wealth of resources. School sites will benefit from considering what materials to select, how to use them, and understanding the rationale - the why
    • There is a wealth of distance learning resources
      • Educators need guidance on What to select, How to use them, and Why
    • Best practices for distance learning are general best practices
      • Must meet needs of all students, include assessment and interventions, and align to standards/research
    • Connections
      • Standards are result of legislation, SBE approval
      • Frameworks provide guidance on implementing standards
      • Instructional materials align to standards/frameworks
    • Guiding principles in frameworks still apply in distance learning context
    • Instructional materials support instruction on standards
      • Instructional materials are adopted through a review process involving CDE, SBE, and the IQC
  1. Need for high quality in distance/in-person learning and hybrid models
    • Instructional materials significantly influence teaching and learning
    • District vignettes
      • District A––Materials from many sources, often unvetted 
      • District B ––High-quality instructional materials, little training, accessibility issues
      • District ––Struggled to transition adopted materials to distance learning, accessibility issues
      • District D–– High-quality materials, support, collaboration
    • Key questions include
      • What is your vision for teaching (in person/DL) in all content areas?
      • How do high-quality materials support the vision?
      • What guidance is there to support coherent/systematic DL instruction?
  1. Why Materials Matter
    • Materials are important to help mitigate instructional challenges
      • Challenge #1––Educators are overwhelmed by choices
      • Challenge #2––Equity/Access (three-quarters of instructional hours on assignment not at grade level)
      • High-quality materials make transition to DL easier
    • Key Elements of quality material
      • Alignment to standards
      • Support all learners
      • Include tools for DL
    • CalCurriculum/EdReports help evaluate materials External link opens in new window or tab.
    • Important to also evaluate systems
      • Vision
      • Technology
      • Professional Learning
      • Student experience with DL
    • Consider Community Experience
      • Technology access
      • School communication
      • Support for families accessing materials
    • Prepare for next fall by establishing a plan and expectations
      • Materials are “low hanging fruit”
      • DL adds extra layer of investigation
  1. Preparing for Ongoing Distance Learning
    • Plan for a variety of scenarios-in-person, DL, Hybrid
    • Plan for 2020–2021 school year
      • Refer to CDE guidance
      • Attend to unfinished instruction, supports for accessing high-quality materials, delivering high-quality instruction, and parents helping students with DL
      • MTSS thresholds may need to be adjusted
      • Focus should be recovery, not remediation
      • Use valid, reliable screeners
      • Implement high-quality interventions
      • Center equity during planning
      • Develop systems to monitor access to technology and materials and respond accordingly
      • Account for DL in resetting instructional vison
      • Communicate equity expectations for DL instruction
      • Provide ongoing professional learning for DL aligned to high-quality instructional materials
      • Support parents/guardians with guidance on caregivers’ role in DL and materials
      • Plan should include materials adoption, pacing/assessment calendar, instructional expectations, access for priority populations, coaching scope/sequence
      • Implementation of plan should include strong communication with stakeholders, progress monitoring, ongoing professional learning
      • Develop plans for a variety of scenarios that support a wide range of needs, student population, conditions
      • Strengthen communication, collaboration, and virtual professional learning systems

Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | DistanceLearning@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 19, 2020
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