Check out our newest PD programs! is happy to announce the addition of four new professional development (PD) programs! Gryphon House, Shutterfly, Crayola, and Mackin Educational Resources have signed on to sponsor fascinating webinars centered around early learning, multimedia, art-infused education, and digital content, respectively. They will also be moderating discussions and posting free resources for educators. Check out our newest communities and their first webinars below!

gryphon-houseJoin Gryphon House’s Early Learning Book Chats community to participate in free monthly webinars or “napinars” – early learning PD while your young students sleep! These monthly “napinars” are presented by award-winning early childhood authors and experts. Early childhood educators will benefit from ideas and resources designed to positively stimulate cognitive, social, emotional, and language development of their young students.

In the community’s first webinar, Renate Zangl, PhD, child language researcher and author of Raising a Talker, discussed the many techniques that can be used to encourage language development in young children. Building Young Children’s Sounds, Words and Brains: Your Words and Interactions Matter offered valuable advice on how to create language-rich interactions that augment child development.

multimediaThe Creating Multimedia Stories for Learning community, sponsored by Shutterfly, is a space where educators can share innovative ways for their students to demonstrate and document their knowledge by creating their own stories. Through dynamic webinars and online discussions, members can explore multimedia tools and their application across various content areas; and learn how to leverage their school’s investment in technology and project-based learning while motivating students to become published authors.

Gayle Horsma, Educational Technology Specialist with Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District in California, led the first webinar for this community. She described her experiences with using Shutterfly’s Photo Story App to get students interested in creating their own unique stories. Igniting Digital Writers in the Classroom gave attendees some insight on how digital storytelling gets students to actively engage in critical thinking and creativity through editing and revising their writing.

Crayola_Logo_REGISTER-RThe Champion Creativity community is a product of Crayola’s initiative to support art-infused education in schools. This program gives educators the opportunity to explore what creativity means, why it matters, and how art builds critical thinking and literacy skills. Art-integration creates memorable and meaningful learning experiences across all academic areas. With the right tools and motivation, an entire school can unify around art-integration to increase student engagement and achievement. Members of the community have access to a wealth of resources Crayola provides for free, including lesson plans and videos that showcase innovative teaching strategies.

Crayola’s Director of Education, Cheri Sterman, kicked off the community with an engaging discussion on Creativity as a 21st Century Skill. Cheri introduced the 4 C’s that result from art-infused education: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration skills. She also discussed The Creative Cycle, a process that pertains to any creative experience and is not limited to visual art. Cheri’s presentation really highlighted the efficacy of using art and creativity to heighten learning experiences.

communityExploring eBooks for K-12, a community of over 3,500 members, was started by to help educators share information and ideas on integrating e-books and digital content into school libraries and curricula. Now sponsored by Mackin Educational Resources, the community provides a platform for educators to discuss the use of eBooks in schools and work together to speed their adoption.

The first webinar for the eBooks community, The Hidden Advantages to Digital Libraries, was presented by Heather Lister, middle school Librarian and certified Instructional Technology Specialist. Heather touched on the advantages of digital libraries and the resources available to those who would like to start a digital library of their own. Attendees of this webinar learned how digital libraries level the playing field for students with varying academic needs.

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