DISTANCE LEARNING WORKSHOPS

As a technology coach and STEM teacher, I helped lead my district in blended and virtual options. As a university professor, I have worked as a Digital Fluency Initiative mentor, provided professional development on course design, and helped professors transform their face-to-face courses into distance learning courses.

Although I work full-time as a university professor, I also deliver keynotes and provide workshops on empowering students with voice and choice. My style is hands-on, engaging, practical, and fun. I infuse each learning experience with storytelling, humor, and movement. While I tailor each the learning to the needs of your staff, here is a sampling of what type of workshops I lead.

Better By Design: How to Empower Students in Virtual and Distance Learning Environments (Full Day)

Educator Expertise: Any level

Description: We didn’t ask for this. We didn’t anticipate this. But now many of us are teaching online and virtually. In this workshop, we explore how to boost engagement, improve collaboration, and increase student ownership in distance learning environments. We explore, step-by-step, how to improve virtual class meetings, how to use choice menus strategically, and how to get students engaged in creative projects at home. By the end, you’ll have tools, strategies, and a clear plan for the future.

Boosting Student Engagement Online  (Half Day)

Educator Expertise: Novice

Description: In this session, we cover seven specific strategies you can use to boost student engagement when doing virtual sessions. We dive into how to create meaningful small group interaction and how to incorporate movement and creativity into these sessions. We also explore how to design meaningful online instruction that takes students away from their screens.

Creative Collaboration from a Distance (Half Day)

Educator Expertise: Emerging

Description: Distance learning does not mean you have to abandon collaborative grouping. In this session, we explore how to build accountability and interdependency into student collaboration. We cover specific tools you can use for shared creative work and for both synchronous and asynchronous communication.

Taking Distance Learning to the Next Level (Half Day)

Educator Expertise: Expert

Description: In this workshop, we focus on how to take our distance learning to the next level with UX Design. We explore what it means to do in-depth choice menus, project-based learning units, and interdependent collaborative work. This is ideal for schools that have already been experimenting with virtual and distance learning platforms and want to take the learning to another level.

Empowering Students in Distance Learning (Self-Paced Course)

Educator Expertise: Any level

Description: What does it mean to empower our students in distance learning environments? How do we help them become self-directed when they are away from their classroom? We tackle these hard questions as we focus on what it means to have students self-select scaffolds, use choice menus, engage in creative projects and self-assess. Each day, you will watch a practical video with specific strategies and then create something meaningful that you will actually use in your distance learning classroom.

This course begins on April 20, 2020, with a new 60 minute lesson each day. It will last ten days over two weeks. However, the course is on-demand and all deadlines are flexible. Every video and resource will be available even after you have finished this course.

Contact Me About Leading a Workshop:

Common Questions

The following are some of the common questions people ask about the Design Thinking Workshops:

What can we expect from a full-day workshop? 

You can expect a hands-on, fun, thought-provoking experience. I will focus on “the why” and share relatable stories. However, we will also practice specific structures and ultimately design a design thinking unit.

What is your expertise in this area?

I’m the co-author of Empower, which provides a framework for student ownership and self-direction. I also have also spent my entire career working with educational technology in blended, hybrid, online, and virtual spaces. As the author of Vintage Innovation, I provide a balanced perspective that includes moving beyond the screens. There are some ed tech experts who know the ins and outs of every app. That’s not me. My expertise in this area lies in the overlap between student empowerment and distance learning.

What do you offer beyond the workshop?

Often, a school or district will have me do one-on-one coaching or work with teams in their planning after an initial workshop. I also offer affordable self-paced online professional development that I can bundle into the workshop. Furthermore, I will provide sample projects, structures, and handouts that teachers can use the moment they leave a workshop. Please feel free to email me at john@spencerauthor.com for details.