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Top Webinars for Summer Learning: Highlights of the 2023 SML Virtual Conference

June 7, 2023

Top Webinars for Summer Learning: Highlights of the 2023 SML Virtual Conference

The 30-plus professional development webinars of the 2023 SML Virtual Conference are all available on demand. Watch now for sessions that focus on creating safe, welcoming and inclusive classrooms, affirming students with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and sparking wonder and authentic learning in the classroom.

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There were 30,000 registrations for the 30-plus free professional learning webinars offered for the 2023 Share My Lesson Virtual Conference from March 21–23. Session presenters covered a wide range of topics—including STEM, English language arts, civics education and engagement, social-emotional learning and mental health, and more—to help inspire and equip educators, school staff, and families. All webinars—each worth one hour of professional development credit—are now available to watch on demand. Here, we share just a few of attendees’ favorite sessions.

Addressing Diversity, 
Equity, and Inclusion

Several webinars focus on strategies to create safe, welcoming, and inclusive classroom environments with resources to help educators talk about racism, address antisemitism, and affirm students with diverse backgrounds, identities, and experiences.

In “Talking About Race and Racism with Young Children,” presenters discuss the importance of talking with children ages 2–6 about race. They also share a research-based activity guide with tips to help families lead positive, age-appropriate conversations about bias and belonging so children can connect with each other across differences. Also helpful is “Inclusive Learning Environments for Religiously Diverse Students,” presented by the US Department of Education’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. This session provides guidance on constitutional protections for religious expression in public schools. It also gives inclusive practices that foster a supportive school climate and help all students feel valued and able to be their full selves, free of religious-based bullying and harassment.

Fostering STEM Learning

With the rise of popular and increasingly complex technologies impacting students’ learning and well-being, how can educators emphasize creativity, digital citizenship, and making smart decisions? In “Practical Approaches to Advance Original Thinking in a World with ChatGPT,” consultants from conference sponsor Turnitin discuss how educators can adjust assignments to encourage authentic learning for students in grades 6–12 and share how to incorporate generative artificial intelligence tools into instructional practice. And in “Using Stories to Teach Financial Capability,” educators and families of students in grades K–8 learn about tools developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help students develop financial literacy and well-being. One tool, the Money as You Grow Bookshelf, is a collection of stories (with family reading guides) featuring characters who learn about earning and saving money and setting financial goals.

Sharing stories is also one of many strategies that can help spark students’ curiosity about science. Educators of all grades can discover how in “Why Wonder Matters: Creating Authentic Connections in the Classroom,” presented by Science Friday. In this session, educators learn how cultivating wonder fuels students’ enthusiasm for and engagement in learning. Instructional strategies such as project-based inquiry, student-led learning, and giving students plenty of opportunities to play and explore can bring complex concepts to life and empower students to take ownership in their learning.

Supporting Educator Development and Well-Being

Educators strive to meet students’ academic, social-emotional, and mental health needs but too often neglect their own needs. A handful of conference sessions address ways educators can meet their needs for professional development and well-being, including how to increase the rigor of their instructional strategies and how to reduce stress and foster connections with their colleagues and students.

One webinar, “That Wasn’t On the Syllabus,” is intended specifically for new teachers and those who mentor and support them. Presented by Amber Chandler, Frontier Central Teachers’ Association president and long-time middle school ELA teacher, the session emphasizes strategies that foster trusting collegial relationships and can help new teachers acquire institutional and professional knowledge to navigate their role successfully.

For a complete list of the 2023 virtual conference webinars and to watch them on demand, visit sharemylesson.com/vc2023. Please reach out to us with any additional ideas or requests at content@sharemy
lesson.com.

Your Summer of Learning

Looking for summer PD hours, ideas for back to school, or just ways to relax? Visit Share My Lesson's Summer of Learning page for upcoming summer webinars, teaching resources, blogs, self-care ideas and more.

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