Approaching Teaching: Week of July 19, 2020

 What is your virtual learning mission?


MISSION: Microsoft Master


Keeping Up with Microsoft Office 365. Follow (or just scroll through) the Twitter feed of Mike Tholfsen, Product Manager on the #MicrosoftEDU team, for a quick view of the possibilities that O365 has to offer!

Learn and Earn

Getting Started with OneNote. Learning is more powerful and dynamic with tools that are already right in front of you – and it’s up to educators to impress this on students in the classroom. In this learning path, educators learn how to create create digital notebooks that support academic standards and education outcomes across disciplines and tasks, such as writing, reading, mathematics, science, history, CTE, and elective courses. Students may use OneNote across content areas and grade levels, and use OneNote to compile and organize unstructured information, research, and content. OneNote also supports research, collaboration, information management, communication, note taking, journaling, reflective writing, and academic requirements. (1 hour)

Global EdTech Academy. To help make professional development broadly available and more customizable than ever, #MicrosoftEDU hosted the Global EdTech Academy. Join in on over 400 free sessions led by your favorite global #EdTech experts! Find out more here.  Access and watch session recordings here or here. Among session titles to choose from: Connecting the Community: Race and Culture in Education, Sway this Way, Microsoft Infused Classroom – Focus on PearDeck and PowerPoint, Personalized Learning with Microsoft Teams, and so many more!

Microsoft Educator Training. Learn and explore with training and resources, and earn badges and certificates on a personalized hub created for educators like you. Browse the full catalog of Microsoft Educator Center training courses.

Microsoft Store Events, Virtual Workshops, & Online Training. Did you know that there are a massive number of FREE Microsoft Store online PD trainings for educators (and students)? These trainings are happening all summer long. Find out more here.

Microsoft Teams for Virtual Learning. In this Sway from Microsoft Education, find resources/links to support teaching and learning during this difficult time.

Office 365 Teacher Academy. Office 365 provides the right environment for better learning outcomes. In this learning path, educators will learn how to become more innovative with cloud-based tools, regardless of the device they use. In this course, learn how to use basic features of Office 365 including Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Sway, Microsoft Forms, Office Online and OneDrive. (12 hours)


Save Bandwidth While Using O365 Teams. Low bandwidth capacity can hamper the connection in Teams between teachers and students when you’re working remotely from one another. This article suggests actions you can take to minimize the bandwidth used. (5 minutes)


Microsoft Teams and OneNote. In this instructional video, Valentina DeNardis, Director of Classical Studies at Villanova University, goes deep into how she uses Teams and OneNote in her courses for distance learning. (~30 minutes) PRO TIP: In the Settings wheel in the YouTube video, choose a faster playback speed of 1.5x or 1.75x.

MISSION: Virtual Feedback Fanatic


Formative Assessment of Virtual Learning. While school campuses are closed, learning goes on, and it remains crucial that teachers find ways to see what students are learning. Find out more about formative assessment of virtual learning in this blog post from edutopia. (2 minutes)

MISSION: Remote Learning Revolutionary

Learn and Earn

Around the World with ManageBac. For 24 hours, ManageBac will explore new practices from educators around the globe and continue to push our thinking about what is possible. Come on board and go Around the World in 24 Hours with ManageBac – Remote Learning Edition! Find the agenda and scheduled speakers here. All sessions are FREE and will be recorded. Learn more. | Register.

MISSION: Virtual Learning Designer


Visible Thinking Routines. Ron Ritchhart shares via Twitter: to use thinking routines powerfully, we must situate in the center of 3 other powerful practices: listening, questioning, and documentation.

Learn and Earn

Designing for Online Learning. The Global Online Academy’s (GOA) popular series of week-long online courses will now continue through August. The series includes Designing for Online Learning (FREE for any and all educators) and three deeper dives into Assessment, Student Agency, and Wayfinding (open to all educators, $150 for each). Learn more. | Register.

Designing for Online Learning: Elementary/Lower School. Designing for Online Learning: Elementary/Lower School is a one-week course for educators interested in deepening their understanding of designing online learning experiences for primary grade levels. This course has been modified from one of GOA’s most popular educator courses, Designing for Online Learning, which since March 2020 has served 15,000 educators across 100+ countries. This course follows the framework of original Designing for Online Learning with a focus on strategies, examples, resources, and tools for teachers of younger students. August 10 – 15. Open to all educators, $150. Learn more. | Register.

Project Zero Virtual Workshops. Harvard’s Project Zero will host webinars for educations new to PZ ideas, those who have begun to work with PZ concepts more recently, as well as those well-versed in PZ frameworks. Each workshop consists of two sessions, usually spaced a few days apart, with a brief activity or reflection that participants complete in between the two sessions. Registration: You may register for as many workshops as you like. Registration links are separate for each workshop and is first come, first served basis. Scholarships, Discounts and Other Workshop Policies. Limited scholarships are available (covering 30% of the workshop fee) as are group discounts. Learn more. | Register.

NOTE: Project Zero’s professional development programs are recognized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) as Category 3 PD, which can be used by IB educators worldwide to fulfill their ongoing requirements.


Assessment and Distance Learning. In this all-star webinar panel discussion, Tom Guskey, Lee Ann Young, Ken O’Connor, and Rick Wormeli focus on “A New Normal: Assessment and Distance Learning”. (60 minutes)


Improving Online Instruction. Distance learning started as an emergency in the spring, but teachers are finding ways to make it better, even for students working on smartphones. In this blog post from edutopia, learn about two ways to improve online instruction. (2 minutes)

Keep the Classroom Connected with Pear Deck. How do we disconnect from the physical space of the classroom without disconnecting from the community? And how do we guide our students to maintain the expectations and codes of civility that govern our physical spaces? To answer these questions, read this article to learning more about how a community of educators can share their experiences with online learning and using Pear Deck to connect with remote learners. (4 minutes)

SlidesMania. Find a HUGE collection of FREE templates to create everything from digital notebooks to choice boards to weekly/yearly planners to lesson planners to virtual filing cabinets all using Microsoft PowerPoint (and Google Slides)!

MISSION: Virtual Learning Literacy Enthusiast

Learn and Earn

Learning A – Z Webinars. Register for live webinars designed to help you develop a deeper knowledge of your Learning A-Z resources while discovering tips and tricks for online teaching and learning. Learn more. | Register.


Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world’s great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education.

MISSION: Micro-credential Mentor

Learn and Earn

FlipGrid Certification. Get FlipGrid certified! The first Flipgrid certification is Level 1: Flipgrid Certified Educator. At this level Flipgrid Educators have a basic understanding of Flipgrid based on their initial steps using the platform. Find out more here!

ISS Deep Dives into Virtual Learning. With ISS Deep Dive Sessions into Virtual Learning, participants will actively engage in virtual learning that can be transferred into the classroom, no matter what the context. All participants will have the opportunity to work in smaller group sessions that align to their specific grade level, content area, and pedagogical belief. Just $75 per 4-hour session Learn more. | Register.

  • July 22: PK-12 English Language Arts Educators
  • July 29: PK-12 World Language & EAL/ESL Educators
  • August 5: PK-12 Specialists (Art, Music, PE) Educators
  • August 12: Early Years Educators

MISSION: University Degree

Learn and Earn

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. Wilkes University’s low-residency Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership is designed for professionals seeking to transform the face of education. Through rigorous and relevant curriculum, which combines theory, applied research and interactive learning experiences, you will leave the program prepared to address the unique challenges faced in K-12, higher education or professional environments. The Ed.D. requires 60 post-master’s credits, including nine credits of dissertation. Attend three program residencies while participating in virtual class sessions and online learning. Learn more. | Apply.

Online Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Wilkes University is pleased to partner with the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) to offer the Master of Science in International School Leadership. This 30-credit master’s degree program is offered through a completely online format, allowing you the flexibility to obtain your graduate degree in as little as two years. Learn more. | Apply.

Tuition-Free Master’s of Education. The IB has collaborated with the University of the People and launched a tuition-free, online Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) programme. The M.Ed. offers teachers and schools across the world an opportunity to further their careers, regardless of where they live and teach. Learn more. | Apply.  

MISSION: Virtual Learning Well-Being Wizard


Mood Meter. Use the mood meter to take a quick temperature of a group during virtual learning experiences.

Trauma-Informed Strategies. Every member of a school staff has a role to play in creating an environment conducive to optimal teaching, learning and well-being. In this free webinar, you will learn how you can use existing school resources differently to foster resilience, a growth mindset and develop social-emotional skills. Watch the recorded webinar now.

Stop, Breathe & Think. Stop, Breathe & Think is a free mindfulness and meditation app that allows users to check-in with how they are feeling and provides activities tuned in to their emotions. The app allows users to tune in to how they are thinking and feeling, and select emotions that guide them to recommended meditations. (~10 minutes)


Understanding Adults. The complexities of helping adults include everything from Identity, to Status, to Motivation, and more. The more we understand these complexities, the better chance we have for coaching success. In this blog post, look at a free webinar with Michelle Harris on Understanding Adults. Check out the overview or watch it in its entirety for free.

Child Safeguarding Implications for Online Learning. While the surge in virtual learning due to COVID-19 will help to protect the well-being of students, institutions now face the additional challenge of how to protect students while they learn virtually. Read more about the implications in this blog post. (2 minutes)

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