Educator’s Virtual Mentor

We at Eye2theWorld are very excited about our developing an affiliation with Educator’s Virtual Mentor (EVM), a program available by subscription that can become a valuable resource for schools as they plan and assess instruction. We were especially impressed with the more than 2000 short video clips catalogued in the materials. These clips represent actual teaching situations involving exemplary techniques catalogued under several headings. These alone would be worth a subsciption!

Here is a letter to educators from Woody Ziegler, the President of Learning for the Future,  the parent company for EVM.  A related article from the Milken Family Foundation follows with a more detailed description. The Milken Family Foundation provides financial awards to educators nationally whose works illustrate extensive innovative practices. Both Woody Ziegler and his late brother Robert, who together started Learning for the Future, were recipients of Milken Awards.

 

Dear Educators,

Every teacher, administrator and other staff persons face more demands on their time than ever before. The preparation for diverse student needs, managing planning and assessment efforts make it increasingly difficult and challenging to keep one’s head above water when the waves seem to be gaining force. Being able to rise above the challenges to make a difference in the lives of students both today and in their future makes all the work and effort worthwhile. After all, we impact eternity. But it is still work that can be exhausting.  Often finding time to affirm and develop the art of teaching is an afterthought.

There are times when we feel appreciated; there are others when we feel unappreciated, lacking support and possibly feeling ill-prepared for the next day. We realize professionals need tools and support to help them accomplish their instructional goals both in their classrooms and in the whole school. Through cooperation with Eye2theWorld, Learning for the Future wants to support you as a professional educator. By developing the Educator’s Virtual Mentor (EVM), my business, Learning for the Future, seeks to support the professional development of teachers, administrators, and other instructional leaders. We seek to affirm the great things that can happen in classrooms and assist you in your effort to strengthen your teacher/instructional leadership toolbox with models of quality teaching. That’s why we have developed EVM as a two part program intended to meet the specific needs of teachers, specialists, and administrators.

First, through the “Educator Development Matrix”, EVM will provide you with 52 articles summarizing research on best practice instruction. Each article is supported by at least one rubric and a growing video clip library containing over 1,300 video clips of these instructional strategies in action. These clips show authentic instruction with real master educators teaching real students real content in real time. Each clip has a set of unique reflection questions that seek insight from viewers concerning the information they have studied and how they can incorporate these ideas in their personal professional practice. The responses to these questions may be printed and/or e-mailed to one’s coach or team leader, learning community members, evaluator, or to oneself as a digital record of professional development.

The second side of EVM, Tools For Leadership, facilitates development and calibration of observation and coaching skills. These can be valuable to coaches and mentors. Longer observation walk-through clips provide examination of teaching styles and development of feedback for the observed teacher.  Data can be shared with other coaches to fine tune appraisal and feedback skills. This growing set currently contains 160 video clips and provides examination for all levels of K – 12 instruction.

In order to have EVM available for the largest possible audience, we have kept annual subscription rates as low as possible. A subscription not only provides a school or district with a set of presently available materials, but we will keep the program current by adding new clips and related components annually as Learning for the Future produces them. The annual subscription for the entire set of materials, including

    • More than 1300 video clips
    • Rubrics related to each video clip
    • Sets of reflection questions for each clipIs given in the table. Note that prices according to whether a teacher purchases one or whether a school purchases it in quantities for its faculty to use.

Subscriptions are available and will be priced based on the number of teachers in the district, consortium, and individual building.

Number of Teachers
on Campus

Campus Costs

From

To

Elementary

1

15

$85/teacher

Elementary

16

Unlimited

$1,350

Middle School

1

15

$85/teacher

Middle School

16

Unlimited

$1,350

High School

1

20

$85/teacher

High School

21

Unlimited

$1,750

Negotiated

2,000 +

Negotiated

Negotiated prices would apply to large districts, consortiums for state service centers or statewide purchases.

For large district-wide programs such as induction, mentoring or coaching programs, costs would be $75 per each teacher, $75 per each mentor/coach and $75 per building administrator. The access codes provided to these programs would not be for general staff development, appraisal, and feedback purposes outside of the designated group.

Individual accounts may be purchased for teachers at $85 per teacher, $500 for each principal, assistant principal and/or instructional coach at each campus. Individuals who want to advance their teaching skills can also join Educator’s Virtual Mentor at the rates indicated above.  Joining for more than one year can substantially lower the cost. After choosing a term, you will be taken to Pay Pal to complete the transaction, then brought back to EVM to enter your e-mail address as your user name and to choose your password. http://educatorsvirtualmentor.com/

Woody Ziegler, President
Learning for the Future

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Principals, coaches and mentors often say their most important job is to be instructional leaders. Yet it’s very difficult to find classes, in-service and other resources that teach people how to be instructional leaders. Brothers Woody Ziegler (NE ’96) and Rob Ziegler (NE ’98), both Nebraska Milken Educators, identified a solution to the problem one day when they were talking about the use of video to provide performance feedback to classroom teachers.

Woody had been working as technology consultant for the Nebraska Department of Education, facilitating the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant for professional development of school administrators. “I believed in the effectiveness of video use,” Woody remembered, “but administrators didn’t feel they had the time, resources or skill to produce them.” The Ziegler brothers developed the idea of creating teacher demonstration videos accessed  through the Internet that could be used by any teacher anywhere.

Rob Ziegler

Rob Ziegler speaks with fellow educator Nancy Childs.
“When the Milken Family Foundation recognized us, it created a significant impact in our lives. It inspired us to keep stretching ourselves and doing what we believed was right, rather than do the easy, convenient thing.”

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Woody Ziegler discusses Educator’s Virtual Mentor.

With their wives’ blessing, Woody and Rob quit their jobs to pursue their dream. Using money they had received from their Milken Awards, along with money they raised by mortgaging their homes, they set out to provide authentic, quality teaching through video. Their goal was to help administrators and teachers open the door to discussions among educators that would help reinforce and teach positive instruction.

Since 2005, Woody and Rob have archived more than 1,200 video clips featuring real teachers recognized for their outstanding teaching methods in more than 75 different classrooms in eight states. The footage shows teaching in real classrooms, in real time, with real students learning real content. For each clip, a camera records both the teacher and the students. Teachers are asked to teach their regular curriculum in their usual way, so the learning is not staged.

The Educator’s Virtual Mentor (EVM) videos are easily accessible 24/7/365 from the comfort of one’s own home, office or classroom at the website www.educatorsvirtualmentor.com. The clips are organized into a “video matrix” of 51 teaching strategies — including strategies discussed by Robert Marzano and methods of learning identified by John Bransford. The strategies are organized within seven strands: Planning, Instruction Strategies, Beginning the Learning, Classroom Climate, Classroom Management, Engaging Students and Closing the Learning.

The video clips, along with research articles summarizing best practices, rubrics and reflection tools, can be used by administrators and mentors to evaluate and instruct teachers privately or in collaboration, or by teachers to conduct self-evaluation and learning. In addition to the teacher clips, a “Tools for Leadership” section of the website provides more than 100 clips that facilitate the instructional coach’s ability to identify instructional strategies in action, providing feedback to educators and calibrating appraisal/evaluation practices within a school building or district.

Today, more than 17,000 user accounts exist on EVM, serving school districts, schools of education and individual educators across the nation. Schools of education use the flexible tool to teach instructional strategies prior to field experience. Some professors use the clips for semester finals, asking teacher candidates to observe the teacher in the clip and identify the instructional strategies they see in practice. EVM is a resource that can then travel with the new teacher to the classroom, providing him or her with ideas and models of teaching alternatives.

A Classroom With A View

Learning through the lens of Educators

Virtual Mentor

Districts and schools using EVM have expanded their system’s use far beyond the ideas originally envisioned by its creators. Schools are using it as support for professional communities; mentors use the tool to work with their colleagues. Principals are allowing veteran teachers to develop their own improvement plans using EVM instructional strategies. Still others are finding ways to incorporate and design classes for district credit with in-service activities.

“It is humbling to think that our work is impacting the quality of teaching, and therefore impacting the quality of learning for students across the country. I feel like this is a positive way to use our Milken Awards,” Rob said. “And, yes, it was definitely worth risking our mortgage money,” he laughed. Milken  winners are challenged to use the recognition of the Milken Family Foundation to further quality education for each and every student in the United States. EVM is the way these two award winners are working to meet that challenge.

Expert Teachers Needed

Educator’s Virtual Mentor would like to videotape quality teachers who incorporate technology into their daily teaching and teachers who are exceptionally strong in differentiating daily instruction. If you are such a teacher or you know of one, please contact the Ziegler brothers at Rob@L4TF.com or Woody@L4TF.com.

A Gift for Milken Educators

Woody and Rob Ziegler of Educator’s Virtual Mentor are offering a free membership account to fellow Milken recipients. Request your account from the Zieglers at Rob@L4TF.com or Woody@L4TF.com.

Rob Ziegler, Ed. D.

On November 6, 2011, Dr. Rob Ziegler passed away after a five-year battle with cancer. Rob’s love, smile, advice and expertise are missed. The Educator’s Virtual Mentor continues to accomplish his professional goal of enhancing learning opportunities for all students.

From: Milken Foundation