Guest Blogger: Lisa Schmucki, Founder & CEO, edWeb.net
edWeb.net was just nominated for the Digital Innovation in Learning “Better Together” Award. The idea of working “better together” is the underlying philosophy of edWeb.net, a professional social and learning network that helps educators connect and collaborate with each other, and also helps companies building better solutions for schools and educators to work better together, too!
The idea of working better together extends to parent involvement and community engagement. Schoolwires has created a community on edWeb.net to help school leaders learn how to improve parent communications and better involve their communities as partners in school decisions that affect students and families. This new online community, Parent Involvement & Community Engagement in K-12, gives district and school administrators, teachers, and parents a forum to post questions, start discussions, and get feedback from peers and experts on all aspects of family engagement and its positive effects on student achievement.
edWeb was founded 7 years ago and just surpassed 100,000 members on October 5th, World Teacher Day. The site is completely free for educators and educational institutions, and edWeb members have formed over 1,200 communities on the site for collaboration. One thing edWeb has learned is that educators need help and support building active and engaged online communities.
That’s where companies like Schoolwires can step in. Schoolwires has created an online community on parent involvement and community outreach, then brings in their team members and experts to host free webinars, lead online discussions, and provide valuable resources for the educators who join their community. Administrators and teachers are so thankful for this kind of free online learning and support. Most schools don’t have the time, money, or expertise to provide the breadth and depth of knowledge teachers need to stay current and learn how to integrate technology into learning.
edWeb has over 35 professional learning communities covering wide range of topics such as parent involvement, game-based learning, autism, school gardens. The communities host free webinars that are exceptional live learning experiences. Most of all, educators like to interact and share with each other in real-time, and edWeb makes that easy and fun. Here is a comment typical of what teachers say on edWeb every day, “New to edWeb…this is my 3rd webinar and I LOVE the professional development opportunities here. ADDICTED! My co-worker hooked me onto edWeb.”
edWeb has been called a PD Buffet by Rachel Langenhorst, a Technology Integrationist, who is a big user of edWeb for PD in her district. Rob Furman, a school principal, also finds edWeb to be a tremendous resource for his teachers.