News

ASCD Announces Virtual Learning Network Schedule for 2014–15

By Abi Mandelbaum
September 30th, 2014

Alexandria, VA (9/25/2014)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, is pleased to announce the 2014–15 ASCD Virtual Learning Network (VLN) webinar schedule. Funded by a two-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, the VLN webinars are in their second year. They are designed to assist educators with curriculum, assessment, and instruction that align with Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

The ASCD Virtual Learning Network covers four content areas: mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The webinars are led by ASCD Faculty members Nanci Smith, Andrew Miller, Jason Flom, and Krista Rundell. In addition to offering the webinars, the VLN allows participants from each VLN cohort to engage with and learn from one another through virtual professional learning communities (PLCs) on the ASCD EDge® social network. These moderated communities allow educators to study Common Core topics in greater depth with ASCD experts and share comments and resources with other network members. All webinars are also archived at www.ascd.org/vln.

The four webinar sessions in each VLN content area will focus on different topics throughout the 2014–15 school year and are designed to address problems of practice from the field. Highlighted topics this year will include…

• Improving instructional effectiveness and student engagement.

• Creating CCSS-aligned lessons.

• Designing rigorous performance tasks.

• Using protocols to examine student work.

“ASCD is proud of the many accessible, easy-to-use resources we offer to assist educators with Common Core implementation,” said Judy Seltz, ASCD executive director. “We are excited to begin the second year of Virtual Learning Network webinars and see the ways educators across the nation are using these lessons to transform their practice and engage their students.”

Mathematics

ASCD Faculty member Nanci Smith will present the mathematics webinars.

“The Virtual Learning Network is a powerful tool for uniting math teachers and leaders across the country as we undertake the implementation of the Common Core and other rigorous state standards with new instructional methods and intents,” said Smith. “We need to lean on each other as we strive to reach deep understanding and determine effective strategies and practical applications for mathematics instruction. The VLN webinars and ASCD EDge discussion groups enable peer-to-peer support and connected professional learning across the country.”

2014–15 schedule (all sessions begin at 6 p.m. eastern time):

Session 1: October 14, 2014
Session 2: November 12, 2014
Session 3: January 14, 2015
Session 4: March 12, 2015

English Language Arts

ASCD Faculty member Andrew Miller will present the English language arts webinars.

“We look forward to addressing more of the problems of practice that educators in the field are encountering,” said Miller. “In the ELA cohort, we will continue to confront issues around complex text, ensuring our assignments align to the Common Core standards and using student work and formative assessment to adjust our instruction.”

2014–15 schedule (all sessions begin at 6 p.m. eastern time):

Session 1: October 15, 2014
Session 2: November 10, 2014
Session 3: January 12, 2015
Session 4: March 9, 2015

Social Studies

ASCD Faculty member Krista Rundell, a new addition to the Virtual Learning Network, will present the social studies webinars.

“I’m excited to get started with the new VLN sessions and build on the progress this group made in the inaugural year,” said Rundell. “The social studies cohort will be a place to focus on high-quality instructional practices that integrate pivotal social studies content with critical literacy standards and higher-order thinking skills. It is our goal to create a collaborative professional learning environment in which teachers unite and support one another in developing best practices to move student engagement and achievement beyond challenging standards.”

2014–15 schedule (all sessions begin at 6 p.m. eastern time):

Session 1: October 13, 2014
Session 2: November 13, 2014
Session 3: January 15, 2015
Session 4: March 10, 2015

Science

ASCD Faculty member Jason Flom will present the science webinars.

“The VLN is an opportunity to work with other educators and develop a shared understanding of teaching and learning in the sciences as they relate to the Common Core,” said Flom. “This year, we want to deepen our understanding of how the standards can enhance practices that reflect the work of scientists in the professional world and shift instruction to make learning more interactive and intellectually engaging. While student achievement is always a goal, this group is about professional learning and building our capacity to enrich and empower student learning.”

2014–15 schedule (all sessions begin at 6 p.m. eastern time):

Session 1: October 16, 2014
Session 2: November 11, 2014
Session 3: January 13, 2015
Session 4: March 11, 2015

For educators seeking additional resources beyond the Virtual Learning Network, the ASCD EduCore® tool is a virtual showcase of digital and CCSS-aligned professional development opportunities from ASCD, the Literacy Design Collaborative, Student Achievement Partners, the Math Design Collaborative, and other partners. EduCore’s resources include videos, articles, and example lessons to help educators and instructional leaders keep up with the most recent trends and instructional shifts in CCSS implementation.

Visit the Virtual Learning Network site at www.ascd.org/vln or the EduCore tool at http://educore.ascd.org. More information on ASCD’s suite of CCSS implementation resources is available at www.ascd.org/commoncore. You can also learn about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at www.ascd.org.

Contact Information
Ross Romano, publicist, 1-703-575-5607 or ross.romano@ascd.org
Katie Test, communications manager, 1-703-575-5608 or ktest@ascd.org

About the Author:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.