CTHEI Curriculum Update for '15-'16

An Exciting Opportunity for Innovative Student Learning!

Beginning next school year . . .

Eighth grade students will experience blended-learning, CTHEI-style!

The course curriculum for Unit 2 and Unit 3 is currently being adapted and enhanced for delivery via Canvas, AISD's learning management system. The CTHEI course design team, along with specialists from the Career & Tech and Instructional Technology departments, were trained in best practices of online design and are diligently working to create meaningful and engaging online learning experiences for your future students.

The primary goal of this effort is to provide students with a realistic online learning experience, but within the safe and supportive environment of the CTHEI classroom and with the guidance of a highly-skilled CTHEI teacher.

Dr. Cavazos on CTHEI online initiative

Why an online learning experience?

Because our students should have the opportunity to:

  • Gain valuable college and career preparation by working in an online learning environment
  • Reflect on whether or not future online learning opportunities are well-suited to their learning preferences and skills
  • Develop and practice appropriate and acceptable technology usage habits and skills while working in a robust and safe learning platform
  • Utilize online communication and collaboration tools for authentic purposes

We are unaware of any other ISD that can claim, "Every student has an authentic, online learning experience before high school."

We think that's pretty cool and hope that you do too!

Because of its standards and objectives, CTHEI aligns perfectly with the purposes of this opportunity.


1. What is blended learning?

Any formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace . . . And in which a student learns at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. Learning and experiences along each student’s online learning path are connected to the student’s face-to-face learning path (i.e. an integrated learning experience).

So, technically, students will learn in a blended learning environment, but our goal is to make the experience as 'fully-online' as possible.

2. How will I be trained to successfully implement the online curriculum?

You will be trained in Canvas, the online curriculum, and online instruction best practices in August. However, you can get an early start if you're ready to learn about Canvas this summer. Please see this flyer for more information. CTHEI teachers are being provided with an early-opportunity to sign up for the Summer Challenge, so if you are interested, sign up right away (before the opportunity is publicized to every teacher in the district and the cohorts are full).

Once the school year begins, additional learning and support opportunities will be available to CTHEI teachers.

3. What parts of the curriculum will be taught online?

Units 2 and 3. So, the very end of the 1st Six Weeks and all of the 2nd.

4. So, if this is online, I can work from home, right?

Nope. The beauty of this opportunity is that your students can work in the online environment, but still access the support of their face-to-face teacher in a blended learning environment. It's really the most ideal scenario for supporting and ensuring student success! That being said, the goal is to make the experience as 'realistic' as possible, while not compromising student learning outcomes.

5. I'm not very interested in this . . . is it optional?

Sorry, but we want all students to benefit from this experience. Additionally, the online curriculum will address the same TEKS that you are currently required to teach.

Proactive communication in regard to potential concerns, anxieties, etc. will help us effectively support you during this process, so please keep us apprised of your concerns and needs.

6. So, I'm being replaced by a computer?

Not at all. No online course can provide students with a meaningful learning experience (one with creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication) without a knowledgeable, engaged, and supportive teacher. Your role in this endeavor is most critical to its success: to serve as a guide and coach for students who are being asked to participate in a very unfamiliar kind of learning experience.

Please complete this short survey at your convenience:

Responsible Parties

CTHEI is a joint-endeavor of the Career and Technology Education and Instructional Technology departments.

Please contact Michelle Woodall, CTE Dept. (ext.77400) or Steve Simpson, ITD Dept. (ext.77728) if you have any questions about this initiative.