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Summer PD Part 3: Must-Watch Webinars

Written by Natalie Gilbert

Another way to maximize your summer learning time is to participate in or watch the recordings of webinars. Webinars are useful because they highlight a specific topic that is presented by a subject matter expert, and provide a dense amount of information within a short period of time (usually an hour). If you are watching the webinar live, you can participate by asking the host questions or by interacting with other participants. It’s a great way to build your professional learning network while learning about a new idea or teaching strategy. Many webinars also offer certificates as proof of participation, which could count towards your annual professional development hours.

I’ve included a list below of some great webinars that are coming up in the next few weeks. There’s still time to sign up for these and add to your Summer PD time.

How to Connect Science, Technology, Engineering, Robotics, Arts, and Math in the Classroom
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST
STREAM teaching isn’t about a checklist for ticking off items that are covered in class. Rather, it’s a unique approach to teaching that uses science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts, and math to connect the dots for authentic, deep learning. When young scholars see themselves as inventors, creators, designers, problem-solvers, and collaborators, their ability to discover their true potential increases. As educators, it is our job to provide them with opportunities to experience a variety of activities that allow them to make mistakes, fix problems, try again, and brainstorm something new. In this webinar, Library Media Specialist Karey Killian will lead participants in an exploration of how STREAM teaching can create meaningful learning for our students.

Implement Digital Citizenship Across Your District: Expert Tools and Tips
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. EST
What is the best way to implement a digital citizenship plan across a district or school? Chris Sherman, Manager for the Instructional Technology Specialists in the El Paso Independent School District, will guide you through the planning and implementation of the program that he put in place to achieve 100% certification in his 85-building district in less than eight months. In this webinar, Chris will share the resources, documentation, and step-by-step process used to achieve this goal.

Making Project-Based Learning Work
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST
Project-based learning (PBL) is becoming increasingly popular. But it’s easier to call something “project-based learning” than it is to develop rigorous, effective projects. The Buck Institute for Education developed guidelines for “gold standard” project-based learning to help guide teachers and schools looking to make the most of project-based learning. John Larmer, the editor-in-chief at the Buck Institute for Education, and two expert project-based learning practitioners, will discuss the “gold standard” project-based learning elements and the challenges and possibilities inherent in this approach.

Cultivating Curiosity in Your Classroom
Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST
In this webinar, Dr. Wendy Ostroff, author of the ASCD book Cultivating Curiosity in K–12 Classrooms: How to Promote and Sustain Deep Learning, will describe how you can create a structured, student-centered environment that allows for openness and surprise, where inquiry guides authentic learning. When a classroom is grounded in curiosity, teachers have the unique opportunity of being able to mine students’ deepest held wonder, making their engagement natural and effortless and allowing them to fully open to learning.

Step-by-Step: Lesson Planning Using Universal Design for Learning
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST
Many educators have explored the fundamentals of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and then asked: “How do I use UDL in my planning?” In this webinar, Dr. Patti Ralabate will walk you through the process of applying UDL to effective lesson planning, using six easy steps. Through examples, models, and reflection questions, you will discover how to create engaging, customized lessons that address the variability of learners of all ages.

Kick Off the School Year with Design Thinking and Makerspaces
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST
Design Thinking encourages students to engage in empathy, define problems, prototype, iterate, and solve real-world problems. Makerspaces help students foster critical thinking, open-ended creativity and iterative design. In this webinar, Beth and Douglas will present the design thinking process. They will show examples of different kinds of makerspaces, from simple to complex, and discuss how teachers can incorporate design thinking into their learning environments. From the very start of the school year, teachers can begin to cultivate a culture of collaboration, exploration and student-driven learning.

Don’t Be Overwhelmed! Navigating Back to School Priorities
Monday, August 29, 2016 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST
Don’t be overwhelmed! Each fall begins another school year with a new set of priorities, initiatives, and things to learn. In this research-driven session, Kevin Baird leads us to understand how a handful of best practices can become the core instructional answer to almost any new “priority”. Focusing on Power Practices for Learning Acceleration, Kevin gives teachers hope that the coming school year can be successful and smooth sailing.

If you’re looking for other topics, or if the the set times above don’t fit your schedule, check out the extensive archives of free webinars at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Education Week’s free webinars or visit the Learning Bird Support portal to watch any of the Learning Bird/edWeb Digital Educator and Leadership 3.0 webinars that you may have missed during the year.  

(Missed Parts 1 and 2 of this series? Check out great summer reads and awesome TED Talks for educators).

About the author

Natalie Gilbert

Natalie has spent the last five years working in both traditional and experiential education settings in Haiti, India, and South Korea. Her background is in journalism and education, and she is currently pursuing her M.A. in Educational Technology. She enjoys running, exploring new neighborhoods, and cooking.

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