young person at laptop computerFree webinars by UWindsor online learning specialists are aimed at helping Ontario teachers lead lessons from home.

Webinar series to help teachers with online lessons

Three online learning specialists from the University of Windsor are offering a series of free webinars to help Ontario elementary and high school teachers lead lessons from home.

The three open webinars start this Thursday, April 16, at 2 p.m. EDT. The first session will be a general intro to effective communications for emergency remote teaching. The second, on Monday, April 20, will be geared specifically toward elementary school teachers (kindergarten to Grade 8) while the last, on Wednesday, April 22, will focus on high school.

The second and third webinars will feature panelists from across the province, including members of the local teaching community.

“For the first time in Ontario, all educators are being asked to teach remotely,” said Faculty of Education professor Bonnie Stewart, who is leading the sessions with Nick Baker and Dave Cormier of UWindsor’s Office of Open Learning. “Teachers are needing to learn as they go. We want to support them so the experience can be positive for them, and for students and families.”

Teachers who tune in live to the Zoom webinars will be able use the platform’s chat function to ask questions. The sessions will also be recorded and shared openly across Ontario.

Dr. Stewart said she came up with the idea of putting on webinars after learning colleagues from Saskatchewan had designed similar sessions for teachers in that province.

“They had great response, because there’s a need. I think that’s universal right now. We are going to offer tips and advice — basically how to keep remote teaching simple, keep it equitable, and keep it engaging.”

The sessions are limited to 500 teachers. To register for the first session, follow this link.

The webinars are the latest UWindsor resource for teaching children learning from home. Through the Faculty of Education’s Open Page, Stewart has also developed the #UWinToolParade, a series of videos and podcasts reviewing a variety of platforms for online learning. Originally intended for educators, the videos appeal to parents, too, as families are staying home to combat the spread of COVID-19.

—Sarah Sacheli

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