Wired for engagement – the Schoolwires blog

K-12 partnerships: We're better together!

Posted by Debbora Woods on 10/16/14 9:00 AM


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.

Come join the PD Buffet on edWeb. Join the Schoolwires Community!

Topics: K-12, Professional Development, PD, Partnerships

K-12 website training: Luxury or necessity?

Posted by Debbora Woods on 8/7/14 9:00 AM


Guest Blogger: Dave Thompson, Senior Training Specialist

Too often, training is viewed as a luxury, not a necessity. The question we often hear is, "What if we train our employees and they leave?" And our response is, "what if you don't train your employees and they stay?"

Schoolwires understands all too well the challenges K-12 schools face. In keeping with our mission to connect K-12 communities to the information, services, and people they need, we offer a suite of quality professional development programs designed to equip your content editors with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully manage their websites. Our training programs deliver on the promise of helping your entire school community effectively use their websites to energize learning and foster teacher-parent-student interaction.

Districts that invest in Schoolwires training services report tangible benefits such as increasing user adoption, strengthening their professional development programs, and fostering community engagement. Our high-value, cost-effective programs delivered online, on-site, in-house, or via video conference will equip your staff with the skills need to create engaging web pages.

Here's a brief overview of your training options:

  • Online Training. These 2-hour sessions will provide you with an in-depth working knowledge of individual modules and features.
  • Onsite Training. Delivered at your district location, these intensive sessions include addressing your specific objectives in a customized agenda. It's an open-dialogue type of training where you're provided with fully supervised, experiential learning.
  • In-House Training. We're fortunate to have a state-of-the-art training facility at our corporate headquarters in State College, PA. This is a great option for you if you seek individualized training away from the distractions of your daily work environment.
  • Site Launch Consulting. During this personalized, intensive three-day website transition, our team will work with you to lay the foundation for the structure of your content on your new website. We include the design of page layouts, development of section configurations, structure of information hierarchy, website navigation, and migration of your content from your old website to your new Schoolwires platform.

Offering professional training for your staff is a strategic necessity -- but don't just take our word for it. Check out what our clients have to say:

"I really appreciated our trainer's willingness to work with individuals on their specific problem areas. I drove 2 hours to attend the regional training and it was worth it. I've been to many trainings over the years, and I would rate our trainer in the top 5%. I hope our ESD will bring him back again. I'll be there!"

Omak School District 19 (WA)

"Our trainer did a great job. I felt like he was prepared to answer all of my questions, and he also provided good insights to think about for future design sessions."

Upper Adams School District (PA)

Want to learn more? Check out our Training Web Page>>

And, stay tuned for more training-related blog posts in the future!

Topics: K-12, Training, Website Training, Professional Development

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