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 SDCOE Employees Mentor Online Educators in Minnesota

​San Diego County Office of Education employees are helping officials in Minnesota create a program to train educators to teach online and blended classes.

SDCOE is a founding member of the Leading Edge Alliance, a nationwide group of educators focused on online learning. In order for the South Central Regional Area Telecommunications System in Minnesota to become a member, SDCOE employees will mentor educators there.

Bill Robinson, senior director of media services, and Mary Kraus, project specialist, have been working on the project for months. They traveled to Mankato, Minn., in September to meet with the educators and conduct a face-to-face workshop.

Since then, 15 people have been trained to teach the online courses.

Now, Robinson and Kraus will serve as mentors and sit in on their classes online.

“It’s as if we were principals sitting in on teachers that we’ve trained,” Robinson said. “We just go in and make sure that they do a good job.”

This is the first time SDCOE employees have helped another organization implement the Leading Edge training in this way.

As a founding member of the nationwide Leading Edge Alliance, SDCOE employees helped develop the courses and have helped oversee them since 2011.

The Leading Edge classes guide educators through a rigorous and engaging curriculum focused on not only facilitating online courses but also on developing a solid understanding of how to enhance learning opportunities for all students.

More than 300 people have been certified through the SDCOE program, more than any other county education office in California, Robinson said.

“We are recognized as leaders in providing Leading Edge certification,” he said.