AEA Learning Online: Training System Newsletter
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AEA Learning Online: What's New?  What's Coming?

With the start of the school year, we often are asked about what new trainings and training requirements are out there.  And while we typically give updates as soon as we received them for mandated training requirements in Iowa (see here if you haven't seen the latest on the Suicide Prevention and Adverse Childhood Experiences trainings), sometimes our other projects fly a bit more under the radar.

We are going to give you a quick update on what is new from our professional development team, and what is in the works.

New Course Catalog, Registration System

Starting in June, AEA Learning Online had fully migrated their course catalog over to the new statewide AEA registration system.  Much as before, Iowa educators can register for a variety of courses for license renewal or graduate credit through Drake, Morningside, or our new graduate partner coming fall of 2019, Grandview University.

However, the system is a bit hard to find our course on. To assist, we have added an improved course catalog display on our website.  This will show the upcoming online courses for AEA Learning Online in chronological order.


Fall Authentic Learning Cohort

We also launched the Future Ready Iowa Clearinghouse on July 1.  If you are unfamiliar with the Clearinghouse, this Governor Reynolds executive order commissioned the development of a statewide clearinghouse to gather and post authentic learning opportunities for K-12 students working directly with Iowa community and business partners on real-world problems.  There are more than 100 projects already on the Clearinghouse.

But... what is authentic learning?  How do you implement it in a classroom with all the other things you have going on?  And, how do you use the Clearinghouse?

The answers to these and so much more are the subject of our Fall Cohort for Authentic Learning.  Every Wednesday this fall from 2:00 to 4:00, Laura Williams (21st Century Learning specialist for Great Prairie AEA and AEA Learning Online) will be facilitating professional development conversations via Zoom, meaning your teachers can access it without travel.  They will be able to connect with other teachers, new and experienced alike, who are engaging with authentic learning.

Recertification and graduate credit is available as well.  You can find out more about the cohort by visiting the syllabus here, and by contacting Laura Williams for more details.

Creating Your Own Self-Paced Course:  CAM School District

Of course, in addition to facilitated courses with an instructor and our facilitated authentic learning cohort via Zoom, we also have our self-paced courses that we are ramping up.  Educators have consistently enjoyed the ease and flexibility to begin self-paced courses when they like and proceed through them as their own schedule permits, since those courses have no deadlines.  Combining mandated trainings and professional development modules from our training system with implementation activities educators can complete on their own, they make a great option!

But... what if you could make your own self-paced course for your own district, and give credit for it?

You can!  That is what Kelsie Kralic from CAM (Cumberland-Anita-Massena) has done for her staff to address the district initiative around Literacy Intervention.  With some assistance from our instructional designers, she has created a self-paced course utilizing a mix of AEA Learning Online modules with modules she has created for her own staff (more so the latter in her case).  The self-paced modules she has built intersect with the professional development activities teachers will engage in throughout the year.  Then, through AEA Learning Online, she has set up the course to be available for license renewal credit.  Now, teachers can not only work through the professional development content in alignment with the district initiative on their own time, pace, and place, but they can also earn license renewal credit for it.

Are you interested in doing something similar?  It is easier than you think.  Contact Deborah Cleveland, our instructional designer, who oversees district-led self-paced courses.

Other New Trainings

• We have developed a Youth Mental Health accompaniment module.  This is NOT a training in the usual definition. 

Many schools are utilizing the local district Youth Mental Health onsite training.  However, they don't always have a record of completion for participants.  This training takes the required end assessment from that training and places it online.  In addition, it couples the state-required Postvention training that the Youth Mental Health training does not cover. 

After your district employees have finished the Youth Mental Health training, they can complete this 20-minute module to meet the state requirement for Suicide Prevention and Postvention, and you have a record of the time/date of completion for your employees.

Contact Rob Brookhart if you are interested in utilizing this module.

• Social Studies: Secondary (Year 2) is now complete as well.  This course is geared to build upon year one, helping teachers become familiar with the social studies standards and how they incorporate.  This now joins Elementary, which also has a year one and year 2 finished.

Here is a direct link to that course.

Coming Attractions

We also have several trainings and courses in development for 2019-20.  This includes:

• A training around the new computer science standards being built in conjunction with Wren Hoffman from the Department of Education

• A future training around the future SEBMH standards

• A statewide version of the Heartland AEA Email Consent module, which was developed due to a lawsuit of a school regarding the emailing of special education-related student information.

• A new self-paced course for iEvaluate, making the Evaluator Approval training course even more flexible for busy administrators

• A new series of low-cost self-paced courses available exclusively for para-educators, to help create a series of courses for para-educators to renew their license online, at their own pace.

• An updated 103b training on Seclusion/Restraint, if and when the statewide rules regarding training requirements is updated (they have not been approved as of the date of this newsletter).

Finally:  District Page Templates

If you have been reading past newsletters, you are well familiar with the ability for districts to add their own district-specific information on a page within a statewide training.  Referred to as District Pages, these are very easy to set up, and give your employees a customized and more applicable professional development experience.

In fact, the most often question we get is not how to set them up, but rather, what to put on those district pages.

We have put together an ad hoc template that can help with this process.  It not only includes an overview of how to add district pages, but also a list of what needs to be included and an example. 

You can find the template here.

Currently, we have Bloodborne Pathogens and the Suicide Prevention trainings on the template, and are working on Right to Know with Dustin Gean, facilities and management supervisor for Heartland AEA.  We will be adding other trainings as we go, drawing upon the expertise of district and other statewide partners.
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