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Georgia Model for Virtual Professional Learning: Supporting Educators During COVID

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Georgia Model for Virtual Professional Learning: Supporting Educators During COVID

Presented by Joy Hatcher, Social Studies Program Manager, Georgia Department of Education; JoAnn Wood, Social Studies Program Specialist, Georgia Department of Education; Jennifer Zoumberis, Social Studies and Special Education Content Integration Specialist, Georgia Department of Education; Phillip Sykes, Social Studies Content Specialist, Coweta County School System (GA); and Dr. Connie Howell, Associate Executive Director, Heart of Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation. Get a CE Certificate for this edWebinar Learn more

When the pandemic hit, schools around the world were closed, thrusting educators, students, and parents into a crisis as learning moved online. In this edWebinar, the Georgia Department of Education Social Studies team and state education leaders will describe how their virtual learning communities on helped them support educators, and their students and parents, during this time of crisis.

The GaDOE Social Studies Department had the foresight to launch these communities five years ago, so their programs were in place when the pandemic hit. The presenters will discuss how edWeb was able to help with the specific needs of the pandemic.

Educators have commented during this past year that “virtual professional learning is one of the big wins of the pandemic.” Attend this edWebinar to learn how the GaDOE Social Studies team and state education leaders use the free platform,, to create engaged, online professional learning communities, creating a sustainable solution for personalized PD during the pandemic and beyond.

All educators including state, school, and district leaders and teachers will find this program of interest. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.


Joy HatcherAbout the Presenters

Joy Hatcher is the social studies program manager for the Georgia Department of Education and the president-elect of the Council of State Social Studies Specialists. Prior to working at the GaDOE, Joy spent 12 years as a high school social studies teacher and two years as a professional learning facilitator in DeKalb County Schools. She was a National Board Certified Teacher and is completing her Ph.D. in social studies education.


JoAnn WoodJoAnn Wood has taught many years at the elementary and middle levels. She has been an instructional technology mentor, academic coach, and district social studies supervisor, and now works at the Georgia Department of Education as a social studies program specialist. Working with children and teachers is deeply satisfying to her, as is sharing her enthusiasm for excellent children’s literature to promote social studies inquiry. She is equally fervent about reading, travel, tennis, civic engagement, and her beagles, Miko and Rufus.


Jennifer ZoumberisJennifer Zoumberis has been an educator for 21 years, teaching primarily kindergarten and first grade. She is the social studies and special education content integration specialist for the Georgia Department of Education. She is passionate about inspiring, engaging, and empowering young learners.


Phil SykesPhil Sykes currently serves the Coweta County School System as the K-12 social studies content specialist where he works to help lead social studies initiatives, manages social studies curricula, and works directly with teachers to improve their engagement and effectiveness within the social studies classroom. Before leaving the classroom to join the CCSS curriculum team, Phil taught eighth-grade Georgia studies at Madras Middle School for six years. During his time at Madras Middle, he served on numerous committees and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2015. Phil also has experience teaching sixth- and seventh-grade social studies from a year of service with the Valdosta City School District. Phil is passionate about social studies education and strives to instill the love of history in all students and teachers whom he serves.


Connie HowellDr. Connie Howell is the associate executive director for the Heart of Georgia RESA. HGRESA is one of 16 RESAs in Georgia. The organization provides professional learning and other requested services to leaders, teachers, and other staff. HGRESA strives to Help, Guide, Reach, Extend, and Serve All. We love partnering with other organizations.



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Wednesday, September 29, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
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