Not long after schools closed because of the coronavirus last spring, a Rhode Island nonprofit launched a hotline for teachers who were struggling to launch new technology for remote leaning and trying to figure out how to teach with it. Within a few weeks, hundreds of teachers — and eventually parents, too — were flooding the line with calls for help.

The “dream team” of experts answering calls all had stellar credentials: They were teachers themselves, with training in how to deploy technology for learning and years of classroom experience.

This team of educators was part of the Fuse RI initiative, a fellowship program that teaches educators, administrators and local education agencies in the state how to integrate blended and personalized learning and technology practices into classrooms.

Five-years into the fellowship, the group’s leaders had hoped to launch a restructured model of the program that would train school leaders and teacher teams to design and implement blended and personalized learning initiatives in their in-person classrooms. They never imagined a crisis scenario in which millions of teachers would be plunged into ed tech all at once. Nevertheless, said Highlander’s chief education officer Shawn Rubin, the group “felt like there was a moment and an opportunity” to activate the 104 Fuse RI fellows spread out across the state to help make the transition to remote learning easier for other teachers.

Rubin said the resulting School Support Helpline “would allow any teacher that wasn’t getting the support they needed from their home district or school an opportunity to phone in and talk directly with a fellow who is explicitly trained to be very confident in both the technology and the pedagogy, but also very competent in coaching and supporting teachers who are brand new to this work.”

Read the full article about the remote learning hotline by Javeria Salman at The Hechinger Report.