Hello Engage Members! We haven't blogged in a while and hope this post finds you well. First, I want to take a minute to tell you about a couple of new ways to engage with our webinar series. We've replaced the main webinar promotional widget on the Webinars and Events home page with a community calendar. You can access event listings, change the view, and use it to keep up on all happenings Engage. You'll also see Upcoming Webinars feature boxes sprinkled throughout the community so you can get a quick view of what's coming up. Finally, all webinars and events now have a place in the community as an "Event" content type. Via these Events, you can see the description, get the registration link, and RSVP so that others in the community can see what you plan to attend. Here's an example.
Related to these new ways to access professional learning via Engage, if you're involved in education in any way, shape or form, August (at least for educators in the United States) is "back to school" season. August provides a mix of feelings and changes: the excitement of opportunity for a fresh school year, wistful reflection over how quickly summer came and went, nerves over unknown challenges. But for everyone, particularly classroom teachers, August means full speed ahead towards the busybusyBUSY responsibility of the important work of educating students.
As someone who works with educators of all types offering opportunities for engagement and learning, this presents an interesting challenge. How much is too much? Are educators so consumed with stuff they need to do (get classrooms and buildings ready, finalize summer curriculum work, study data) and stuff they have to do (attend in-services and other PD, transition back to the regimen of a bell schedule) that they don't have time and energy to participate in professional learning and networking online they may typically want to do, like digging in to a Twitter chat, weighing in on a particularly interesting discussion, or attending an interactive webinar?
What do you think? Is August a prime time to offer opportunities for connection and learning to educators, or do you you sometimes feel like saying "leave me alone and get back to me after Labor Day!"? What can Teachers Engage do to help you transition back to school without overwhelming you? Let us know, aware that it's not lost on us that we're asking you via an online social learning platform whether August is too busy for you to engage in opportunities presented via online social learning platforms .