Extending the reach through online learningJuly 29, 2022
Helping Students Develop a Love of Learning
A Story of Teacher & Student Success
Texas Tech University K12, Texas
A Calling to a Career in Education
Sometimes our impact extends further than we could have ever thought possible and our passion can be passed on to others. For the educators we work with at eDynamic Learning this has become apparent, and it is what drives our company’s focus forward.
A teacher’s influence has the power to reach hundreds of students, and in many cases, thousands of students over a career, especially when they’re able to adapt with the changing times. One educator making these boundless connections is Ms. Jeanye Wester, a Texas Tech University K-12 online instructor.
From a young age, Jeanye was always service-driven and thrived in situations where she could continually learn and help others. This pull originally manifested in pursuing a nursing career though Texas Tech University, but she soon felt a stronger urge to become an educator. She remained a Red Raider and switched her major. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science Career and Technical Education (CTE) and a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology in 1980.
Throughout Ms. Wester’s 39 years in education, she’s witnessed, participated in, and embraced the evolution of education from a traditional, strictly booked-based modality to a dynamic, technology-enhanced environment.
“When technology started to grow and flourish in the classroom, I strived to learn as much as possible. To continue to create, learn and evolve, I challenged myself daily to stay current, and I made it my goal to teach online.”
After her first 30 years in education, Jeanye transitioned from being a brick and mortar teacher to an online instructor through Texas Tech University’s K-12 (TTU k-12) school. The school is an extension of her alma mater and a state-approved online program serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Now Ms. Wester is able to share her passion for learning with students anywhere in the world with the help of eDynamic Learning.
Over the past 9 years at TTU K-12, Jeanye has had the privilege of working with a variety of students in grades 5 through 12. Most students are local and reside in Texas from major cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and their suburbs, as well as rural areas in Texas. Thanks to eDynamic Learning’s web-based platform, Jeanye has extended her reach at the global level, supporting students as far as Korea, Peru, and Australia.
eDynamic Learning offers the largest collection of Career and Technical Education and elective courses in North America, which has allowed Jeanye to provide opportunities for students to discover hidden interests, pursue their passions, and lay the groundwork for successful careers, as she facilitates courses such as Career Explorations and Culinary Arts 1a and 1b. Through these courses she has begun to see a trend among her students to become entrepreneurs and start their own business, which she finds has motivated them to expand their thinking towards their future.
Continuing To Make an Impact
Because of her determination to evolve as a teacher, as education progressed Jeanye was able to make a smooth transition into the world of online education. eDynamic Learning has played a key role in her ability to support her students’ diverse needs, whether they are fulltime students online or are taking single courses while attending their local brick and mortar school. eDynamic Learning allows Jeanye to provide her students with access to education anytime and anywhere, at a time that is best for them. This is particularly important as many of her students have jobs and other interests that take up their time during the day or night, so they can keep up with their educational studies.
“Students are able to easily access their courses, and they never have trouble doing that. Courses are consistently structured and formatted, and when students are ready to learn and work, they can!”
Due to the flexible nature of the courses, she can support students who are eligible to enroll in courses at any time throughout the school year. She tries her best to provide daily feedback so they can progress forward, reflect on her input, and develop a personal connection with their teacher. During the pandemic she found this was more important than ever before, as many of her students seemed lonely and isolated.
Jeanye also takes advantage of the eDynamic Learning Teacher Dashboard which offers built-in progress and pacing monitoring features that enable her to identify students who may need additional support. She can see who may be struggling or falling behind and can prioritize her outreach based on those highest in need. This can come in the form of focused office-hours support, concept reteaching, or even through targeted sharing of additional resources such as videos or TED talks. She also feels the curriculum is sensitive to the diverse needs of students, regardless of their background or where they live.
Jeanye has seen great success and increased confidence from her students taking eDynamic Learning courses, and has witnessed that success result in additional enrollments in courses. She is seeing students more self-directed and responsible for their learning, which she’s truly proud of.
“I think that eDynamic Learning courses enrich and extend learning, and I can see a transfer of knowledge and learning taking place in student work. It starts with one course and that builds student confidence and knowledge- whether that’s with the technology, with the content, or just the different types of assignments- that they take into another course.”
Another benefit of the eDynamic Learning courses is the ability for students to prepare for industry certifications. At TTU K-12, the administration values recognition and makes sure to recognize students and the curriculum team at the graduation ceremony.
Jeanye’s student’s share with her how much they love eDynamic Learning courses, which make her appreciate them even more. Through direct feedback captured during end-of-course surveys her students said that the course structure was easily accessible, easy to navigate, and that they felt challenged and successful, but not overwhelmed. They never had any tech glitches or broken links, which can be difficult to deal with. Many also commented how much they enjoyed reading, which she said she doesn’t often hear from students. They also love that the courses don’t require busy work or “fluff”, but offer truly relevant and applicable information.
This past year has kept schools across the country on their toes, and educators had to remain agile. Like many other online schools, TTU K-12 saw increased student enrollments as the pandemic continued, which could have made supporting students progressively more difficult for online instructors. Jeanye was able to make a smooth transition to manage increased student loads and wasn’t faced with developing materials or putting resources together. She was able to spend more time to keep students engaged in learning, provide superior support, and maintain a level of normalcy for her students.
“Even before we knew the course of the pandemic, we already had the eDynamic Learning curriculum in place. You all had the foresight to offer a complete curriculum that was challenging, yet attainable, and it was pretty smooth going into it. We were lucky to have it!”
Many individuals who find themselves in the field of education are inherently lifelong learners. They look for opportunities to continue their own personal growth and they desire to pass their love of learning on to others. Jeanye Wester is the embodiment of this notion: she sought ways to educate herself throughout her career, she embraced new trends that were driving the profession, and she challenged herself to be the best educator she could be. Jeanye has been able to continue extending her reach, and that is something her students were extremely grateful for.
We know Ms. Wester will continue to reach more students through online learning, and continue her profound impact after 39 years in teaching. Jeanye was recently recognized by eDynamic Learning as a 2021 Career Compass Award recipient for her incredible work with her CTE students in helping guide passion to purpose. We are grateful for her dedication to teaching and learning.
I think that this class was so phenomenal. The content of the course was awesome! I even had fun reading. I’m glad I got Ms. Wester for my instructor. She is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning with.”
Terry was recently recognized by eDynamic Learning as a 2021 Career Compass Award recipient for her incredible work with her CTE students in helping guide passion to purpose. We know she will continue to water those passions and help them bloom in beautiful and bright futures for her students for years to come!