Paul Wright | Online Learning for Teachers pursuing Continuing Education and Professional Development | The Connecting Link

 

Paul Wright

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Paul has developed and written many of our most popular tech courses. Technology is changing the face and direction of education; however, Paul makes it a point in all of his courses to invoke the human side of the classroom. Technology should be a medium to reach students, but the teacher is what drives the learning and engagement.  Paul’s work experiences have taken him around the world to a variety of school districts and classrooms. He is eager to hear your experiences and shares his to reflect together on the art of teaching.

In his free time Paul travels around North America watching his son play hockey. His passion for teaching never stops and he even finds time to stop into local schools in the communities he visits to see what they are doing!

Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the development of a mathematical mindset centered around the research of Dr. Carol Dweck’s mindset theory, Dr. Jo Boaler’s classroom approach, and Dr. Susan Johnston-Wilder’s international research in math anxiety components. Participants will reflect on their own teaching practices and explore strategies and frameworks that incorporate a student’s mathematical experience and evolution. The foundations of developing a mathematical mindset will be researched. Strategies for helping students, teachers, and parents understand what a mathematical mindset is and how it is effectively implemented by reducing math anxiety will be explored. Participants will learn how to create a welcoming, yet challenging mathematic classroom experience, implement strategies/best-practices to foster a mathematical mindset for their students. Participants will learn that math stress/anxiety reducing strategies in one’s classroom and helping students understand their anxieties can improve their internal motivation. Additional topics in the course are effective lesson planning to combat math anxiety to grow mathematical mindsets, explore online/digital resources to support mathematic classroom needs, including students with special needs, and making meaningful connections with parents to strength and preserve the mathematical mindset at home.
Course #: IMW24015
Dates: 02/26/24 - 03/24/24
Categories:

Instructional Strategies Content-Area Teaching Mathematics

Format:

Interactive

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Educators today are tasked with improving student learning. This course equips educators in K-12 classrooms to do so. Participants in this course will examine many methodologies of different brain researched-based frameworks to help educators improve student learning and educate parents on their child’s learning strengths and weaknesses. Participants will gain knowledge of how the brain works and how educators can use brain-based strategies to improve memory and retrieval of information. The course will center around the research of Dr. Judy Willis, Dr. Eric Jensen, and others on understanding brain processes that can help educators rethink how they engage students in their own learning. Additional topics include developing lesson plans and activities with brain-based research in mind, critical thinking methodologies, teaching students to self-reflect on their own learning process and how they learn, looking at how social and emotional learning impacts learning, the impact learning styles have on thinking strategies, developing assessments built around brain-based learning principles, and connecting parents/home to brain-based learning to aid in their child’s cognitive development at home.
Course #: IMW24016
Dates: 04/08/24 - 05/05/24
Categories:

21st-Century Teaching Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

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This course is specifically designed to teach educators how to collaborate with parents and students using the iPad. Learn about tools/apps used to create lessons, books, videos, and more. Educators will learn how to enhance communication with students and parents using the iPad, and how to assess students. Educators will leave the course knowing a wide range of applications to maximize the learning environment.
Course #: SPC17147
Categories:

Technology Tools for the Classroom

Format:

Online Self-Paced

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Participants in this course will examine foundational elements that make up student anxiety. Participants will learn about the signs and symptoms of anxiety in students at various grade levels, maturities, and cultures. Anxiety-reducing strategies and frameworks will be centered around the research of Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D., and Tom Thelen (founder of Resetschools.org). Participants will explore research studies on the causes of anxiety, learn how it impacts students’ learning and classroom interactions, and how teaching style and classroom structures can increase or decrease anxiety. This knowledge will aid in applying strategies and practices/frameworks to identify, minimize, and address a variety of anxiety factors and disorders. Additional topics include effective lesson planning to combat anxiety, explore online/digital resources to support classroom needs, including students with special needs, and connecting parents/homes to strengthening the support system to reduce anxiety. The course will conclude with participants developing an implementation plan or presentation to demonstrate knowledge and application of how anxiety impacts their classroom so they can improve student wellbeing and performance. Throughout the course, participants will engage in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the participant to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
Participants in this course will examine collaborative, engaged, cooperative learning—a significant shift away from the typical teacher-centered classroom. Participants will learn how developing a classroom culture of trust, safety, challenge, and joy can foster engaged and effective learning. Research suggests that effective communication and collaboration are essential to becoming a successful learner. Participants will learn how to develop classroom learning experiences around students’ constructing knowledge and engaging in action together. Techniques to develop intrinsic motivation that leads to student engagement and achievement will be researched. Foundational work in this course will include the research and use of collaborative learning, engaged learning, and cooperative learning models. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and create applications for implementation into their own classrooms.
The purpose of this course is for participants to learn the history of coding, particularly in education, coding formats and how coding fits into the K-12 curricula, and how coding can help prepare future-ready students.
Participants in the course will receive a comprehensive overview of how smartphones can be used to collaborate, create, and assess in the classroom. Teachers will examine current trends, beliefs, and applications of the smartphone and how to effectively manage these devices with students in their classroom. Completion of the course will provide you with a wealth of ideas and skills to create your dynamic classroom using your smartphone.
Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the growth of curiosity and creativity in their students. Participants will learn how developing a classroom culture of curiosity and creativity can foster engaged and effective learning. Research suggests that increasing curiosity and creativity in a classroom can lead to a more student-centered classroom. Techniques to develop curiosity and creativity that leads to student engagement and achievement will be researched and explored. Foundational work in this course will include the research on developing creativity and curiosity strategies from simple to complex, lesson planning, and using project-based learning to enhance the classroom. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and leave the course with a better understanding of how to assess and develop creative and curious thought in their students, improve classroom culture through use of innovative strategies, develop an expertise in their own classroom to foster a creative environment, and foster the growth of curious learners to solve problems creatively.
Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the development of a mathematical mindset centered around the research of Dr. Carol Dweck’s mindset theory, Dr. Jo Boaler’s classroom approach, and Dr. Susan Johnston-Wilder’s international research in math anxiety components. Participants will reflect on their own teaching practices and explore strategies and frameworks that incorporate a student’s mathematical experience and evolution. The foundations of developing a mathematical mindset will be researched. Strategies for helping students, teachers, and parents understand what a mathematical mindset is and how it is effectively implemented by reducing math anxiety will be explored. Participants will learn how to create a welcoming, yet challenging mathematic classroom experience, implement strategies/best-practices to foster a mathematical mindset for their students. Participants will learn that math stress/anxiety reducing strategies in one’s classroom and helping students understand their anxieties can improve their internal motivation. Additional topics in the course are effective lesson planning to combat math anxiety to grow mathematical mindsets, explore online/digital resources to support mathematic classroom needs, including students with special needs, and making meaningful connections with parents to strength and preserve the mathematical mindset at home.
Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the development of a culturally relevant classroom centered around research of Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Django Paris, and H. Samy Alim, among others. Participants will define what is a culturally relevant/responsive classroom. Participants will define what is a culturally relevant/responsive classroom. An exploration on five ways to create a culturally relevant lesson as well as review a variety of culturally responsive frameworks of instruction. Teacher leaders' and administrators will learn how to engage culturally relevant teaching strategies and discuss challenges with staff to foster a more culturally relevant/responsive classroom/school community. Participants will explore practices that effectively educate parents on the culturally relevant/responsive classroom. Administrators will gain expertise on developing a letter home or presentation that effectively educates parents on the classroom/school community goals as well as how to effectively keep communication open throughout the year while continuing to develop the culturally responsive classroom/school community. Participants will explore organizations that educate and provide resources for teachers/administrators who are developing a culturally relevant classroom. Key areas of concerns from the participants particular school community will be reflected on and resources will be reviewed to enhance their culturally responsive teaching and leading.
Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the development of a culturally relevant classroom centered around research of Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Django Paris, and H. Samy Alim, among others. Participants will reflect on their own teaching practices and explore strategies and frameworks that incorporate a student’s and school community’s cultural heritage and experiences; fostering a much more wholistic educational experience for all children. The foundations of culturally responsive teaching will be researched. Strategies for helping students, teachers, and parents understand what culturally relevant teaching is and how it is effectively implemented will be explored. Participants will learn how to create a culturally welcoming classroom, development and implement strategies for fostering relationships between different cultures in one’s classroom, and how to help students understand differences between cultures in a respectful manner. Additional topics include culturally responsive classroom management and discipline, including students with special needs in the culturally responsive classroom, and connecting parents/home to the culturally relevant classroom.
Participants in this course will take an in-depth look at the research by Angela Duckworth and how “grit” is clearly correlated to student success in the classroom and beyond. Participants will learn about grit and how it differs from resilience. Numerous grit strategies, classroom management practices, and strategic lesson planning development will be explored, discussed, and developed so that the participant will have a working knowledge of how to embed grit into their classroom culture at the conclusion of the course. Participants will learn how grit strategies can increase achievement and improve wellbeing, thus changing their students’ development trajectory when faced with a problem or difficult task. Additional topics include how grit is related to talent. What is productive struggle? What does a gritty student look like? How to effectively educate parents on bringing grit elements into their children’s lives at home will be explored. The course will allow participants to dive into grit research and learn about online web resources to support their gritty classroom during the school year and develop grit-infused lessons. It will conclude with participants developing an implementation plan or presentation to demonstrate knowledge and application of how grit frameworks/strategies impact their classroom so students can improve education performance and well-being. Throughout the course, students will participate in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed, and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the student to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
This course is designed to enhance a participant’s knowledge of assessment and grading practices. Participants will review formative, interim, and summative assessment types, as well as the grading practices within them (traditional vs. standards-based grading), assessment design, implementation strategies, and how to interpret data results to define mastery. Participants will leave the course knowing how to identify course goals for assessments, effectively construct a variety of assessments based on content, understand how assessment can increase learning, use a variety of assessment mediums, and provide measurable data to students, parents, and other educators that demonstrate growth in learning.
Using Google Apps for Education (G Suite) as an educator can save time, paper, and allow for a more collaborate classroom environment. Google Suite allows teachers to foster 21st Century Skills and create a dynamic multi-faceted learning environment. In this course, educators will learn the basic G Suite tools (Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Slides) to strengthen their knowledge of these resources, as well as, learn how to help their students use these new products. Lesson plan ideas and classroom strategies using G Suite will be examined. Classroom strategies to manage Chromebooks in the classroom will be outlined, but a Chromebook is not required to use G Suite applications.
Participants in the course will receive a comprehensive overview of how virtual field trips (VFT) can be used in their classroom, created in a variety of ways, and experienced no matter your school’s resources. An overview of VFT resources will be explored and examined. Participants will experience a variety of basic VFTs to more complex VFTs; these experiences will guide the teacher to help get a better understanding of how to plan a VFT for their own classroom. VFT resources for the iPad and Google chrome will be showcased and explained with numerous tutorials, as well as other online programs to help create classroom adventures. Participants will learn about and experience the game changing service Google Expeditions that was recently launched, as well as the low cost virtual reality helmet Google Cardboard. Resources for Google Expeditions and Cardboard will be explored and examined to help you implement these items into your classroom. Teachers will also learn how students can create their own virtual reality adventures.
Participants will learn to develop, create, implement, and assess a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) program, lessons and units. A variety of frameworks will be reviewed and discussed to allow for easy replication of STEAM units and activities. Inquiry-based lessons for instruction and assessment will be explored to help gain a better understanding of possible classroom applications and projects. Educators will leave the course with a roadmap to better implement STEAM into their classroom, promote STEAM questioning, and develop STEAM PBL (Project-Based Learning) units.
Participants will learn to develop, create, implement, and assess a STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program, lessons and units. A variety of frameworks will be reviewed and discussed to allow for easy replication of /STEAM units and activities. A variety of STEM/STEAM careers will be explored and highlighted in resources. Educators will leave the course with a roadmap to better implement STEM/STEAM into their classroom, promote STEM/STEAM questioning, and develop STEM/STEAM PBL (Project Based Learning) units.
This course is designed to help educators build a classroom structure where differentiated instruction can occur on a daily basis to create high expectations for student achievement for varying abilities. Through the use of videos, readings, personal reflection, and online forum questions, participants will experience differentiated instruction as well as learn methods to implement strategies in their own classroom. Participants will learn to shape and maintain learning conditions that facilitate differentiated instruction, including how to identify learning styles, create tiered activities, differentiation strategies, and effective classroom management. Participants will leave the course with resources and strategies to reach students of varying abilities, grades, and learning styles and help them take ownership of their education.
Participants in the course will receive a comprehensive overview of the Google Classroom and its capabilities to impact student learning.  Google Classroom allows teachers to foster 21st Century Skills and create a dynamic multi-faceted learning environment.  In this course, educators will learn how to effectively use the course stream, assign a variety of assignments within in Google Classroom, quick poll students, assess students in a wide range of ways, create blogs, learn additional Google Classroom add-on features, and how to bring parents into the Google Classroom.  Completion of the course will provide you with a wealth of ideas and skills to create your dynamic online classroom.
Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success by exploring and developing tools to increase K-12 students’ soft skills (communication, work ethic, leadership, personal responsibility, and listening.) They will recognize and prioritize their students’ soft skills that will be valuable in reaching future goals, remaining optimistic, and dealing with conflict in their schooling. Participants will explore a series of strategies for reaching and helping students learn appropriate behaviors, strategies for the future, and ways to help prepare them for college and career readiness. Research is based on the works of Robert W. Gaines, II, Ph.D., Meca B. Mohammed, Ph.D., Cheryl Talley, Ph.D., and Marcheta Evans, Ph.D., among others. Foundational work in this course will include the research on understanding soft skills, strategies to develop soft skills, bringing students' soft skills to reach within the classroom, and the different types of soft skills: communication, work ethic, leadership, personal responsibility, and listening. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and develop a new understanding of the role that soft skills can play in student learning, along with new tools and techniques for cultivating students’ soft skills.
Participants in this course will examine research-based proactive practices and best practices of the alternative discipline. Strategies for improving classroom and school culture through the use of alternative discipline will be explored. Participants will reflect on their discipline philosophy to establish a framework for growth to effectively implement positive alternative discipline interventions and strategies. Participants will learn about alternatives to school discipline and the most effective ways to reach students and to reward positive behaviors. When students do misbehave participants will learn ways that students can still receive appropriate instructional time and be part of the classroom community. Participants will leave the course with a toolkit of resources to impact their classroom and school community through alternative discipline.
Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success for at-risk students by developing student resilience, designing active learning experiences, motivating underachievers, and fostering social emotional skills. Participants will explore strategies for reaching students of poverty and students with ADHD, and learn how to work effectively with at-risk students and their parents.
Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success by exploring and developing tools for cultivating their students’ attention and designing active learning experiences for all learners. Participants will explore creative strategies for reaching students from distractions to regaining and focusing their attention for learning. Research is based on Caitrin Blake, Neil Bradbury and Jaren Cooney Horvath, among others. Foundational work in this course will include the research on understanding distraction, strategies to decrease distractions, bringing students' attention within the classroom, and the different types of attention: curious, divided, structured, sustaining, mindful. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and develop a new understanding of the role that attention can play in student learning along with new tools, strategies and techniques for cultivating students’ attention along with a state-of-the-art approach in learning to meet their educational goals.
Participants in this course will examine student-centered classrooms with a constructivist approach - a significant shift away from the typical teacher-centered classroom. In a student-centered classroom, much of the direction and leadership is passed onto the students and the teacher becomes the classroom facilitator. This course provides participants with an in-depth exploration of how student-centered classrooms can engage and enhance the learning of all students. Effective student-centered teaching strategies, lesson planning, classroom management methods, and differentiated assessments will be explored. Participants will learn how having a constructivist approach to the student-centered classroom can have students take charge of their learning at any grade level and become independent learners who can create, discover, and problem solve on their own.
This course is designed to help educators build a classroom structure where all students feel empowered and included in the classroom environment. Through the use of videos, readings, personal reflection, and online forum questions, participants will experience the multicultural classroom, as well as learn methods to implement strategies in their own classroom. Participants will learn to shape and maintain learning conditions that facilitate a multicultural perspective during instruction, including how to identify and promote diversity, confront stereo-types, and be introduced to how to create culturally aware lesson plans and activities.
Educators will learn how to use a Chromebook, Google Apps, and various other applications for delivering any course content to their students. Educators will become skilled on how Chromebooks can promote their content area, differentiate instruction, provide multiple representations, and motivate their own professional development. Educators will gain understanding of Internet resources, Google Chromebook applications, Google Play, Google Classroom, the flipped classroom, videos, and more to maximize the learning environment.
Course #: SPC18141
Categories:

Technology Tools for the Classroom

Format:

Online Self-Paced

View Course
This course is designed to help educators build a classroom structure where differentiated instruction can occur on a daily basis for varying abilities. Through the use of videos, readings, personal reflection, and online forum questions, participants will experience differentiated instruction as well as learn methods to implement strategies in their own classroom. Participants will learn to shape and maintain learning conditions that facilitate differentiated instruction, including how to identify learning styles, create tiered activities, differentiation strategies, effective classroom management, and design the physical space for classroom differentiation scenarios. Participants will leave the course with resources and strategies to reach students of varying abilities, grades, and learning styles and help them take ownership of their education.
Participants in the course will learn about what is a flipped classroom and how it differs from a traditional classroom. Pros and cons of the flipped classroom will be discussed. The videos and lessons will help you shape your view of a flipped classroom that works in your school setting. Participants will learn and gain effective lesson planning skills to flip their classroom, common pitfalls of flipped classroom planning, and resources on how to prepare students for the flipped classroom model will be examined and viewed. Techniques to motivate students and how to deal with unprepared students will be learned. Teachers will explore, examine and evaluate numerous platforms to flip their classrooms. Selection criteria for choosing a platform that fits their needs will be learned through exploring the various options each platform has. Teachers will learn about assessment strategies when using a flipped classroom and reflect on their own classroom. Interactive video platforms that allow for questioning to occur during the flipped lesson will be explored and reviewed. Upon completion of the course students will be able to create and effectively implement a flipped classroom lesson.