Research behind the Virtual Educator Network
The VEN is made up of five main pillars, or components. As depicted in the Pantheon illustration, the relationship building aspect of the VEN is important. In our research (Anderson, Horne, Porter, 2021) educators used the relationships cultivated with colleagues at other levels and roles to reach out post-VEN to check on a student or receive suggestions on how to connect with a parent. In other words, staff mentioned they have a point of contact at another level because of the relationships built within the VEN.
And it makes sense. Rarely, if ever, do elementary teachers have a chance to meet with high school colleagues, or high school staff have an opportunity to collaborate with an elementary or a music teacher. The VEN breaks down these level and role barriers. Bringing educators together with diverse backgrounds and experiences provides a completely different perspective to professional development.
In sum, the five pillars of The VEN work together to impact teacher outcomes and subsequently impact student outcomes. The VEN framework is connected to theories that support our belief that bringing together a diverse group of educators to learn from one another, and collaboratively problem solve issues in their practice will impact teacher practice and student outcomes.