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Getting the Most from Virtual Professional Development Experiences
September 1, 2023
The imagination is an essential tool of the mind, a fundamental way of thinking, an indispensable means of becoming and remaining human.
-Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929-2018, Author

Today's words of wisdom come from Exchange Leader Julia Koumbassa:

With staffing shortages leading to a lack of time for work outside the classroom, coupled with the need to constantly integrate new information that impacts our work, virtual professional development has not only become a preferred choice, but an imperative in our field. And while there is still debate on whether it is as impactful as in-person PD, I believe there are lots of ways to get really meaningful engagement within the new reality of a virtual learning context. In my work as Director of Educa Academy, I offer the following tips for getting the most from online learning:

  • Keep a journal for documenting takeaways from webinars and online courses: Reflect on how the new knowledge or skills align with your current values and practice, Note some new ideas you want to try, and jot down a plan for integrating what you learned into your work.

  • Watch webinars together with one or more colleagues. Reflect together on the content and develop shared meaning. Hold each other accountable for applying these new learnings in your practice.

  • If you can’t all watch at once, find time to come together for a reflective discussion after everyone has completed the webinar or course. Add in a walk outdoors, or host a working lunch for your discussion to make it even more special.

  • Take advantage of supplementary resources provided alongside virtual sessions. These resources may include recommended readings, downloadable materials, or online forums. Explore these resources to deepen your understanding and reinforce your learning.

Happy Learning!

Learn more about the Exchange Leadership Initiative. Applications for the next cohort will open early next year!


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