This fall, many schools are incorporating online and remote learning into their offerings, and many families are seeking to support their school-aged children in the new learning environment.

To help both navigate this new reality, SelfDesign® Learning Foundation has collaborated with Cognia, the world’s largest education improvement organization, to share our expertise in building meaningful relationships with learners online.

The resulting 60-minute webinar provided helpful, tested advice on how to engage learners online and build their trust and confidence so that they can learn.

“This was an excellent opportunity to showcase our expertise with the global educator community,” SelfDesign Learning Community Vice Principal Catherine Dinim says. “In this webinar, we focus on real-time offerings, from one-on-one online sessions with young learners, to small groups, to our largest real-time meetings for grades six and up. We highlight ways to build relationships, increase learner engagement through interactive opportunities, and how to create multiple access points for learners to engage in ways that meet their comfort level, personal needs and learning styles.”

Educators from North, South and Central America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia attended the webinar.

Catherine and SelfDesign educators Joanne DiGuiseppe, Wendy Bell, and Sarah Bresnahan co-facilitated the presentation. The tips and insights they shared demonstrate their extensive on-the-ground experience managing diverse real-time online workshops, learning spaces and discussions with children and youth.

Throughout the webinar, they emphasize SelfDesign’s values of authenticity, integrity, inclusion, innovation and lifelong learning as tools that educators can use to develop their skills and practices and gain confidence in online education.

“SelfDesign serves as an exemplar for our digital learning community,” says the webinar host, Cognia’s Senior Director of Digital Learning Services Dang Phan, by providing guidance in the webinar on how practical tools for educators to navigate educator–learner relationships effectively can be learned quickly.

This isn’t the first time this year that SelfDesign has shared its expertise with other educators and families in supporting learning in non-traditional environments. When the BC Ministry of Education suspended in-person classes in brick-and-mortar schools across the province in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SelfDesign developed tips sheets for educators and parents to support online learning. We also joined online discussions hosted by the Federation of Independent School Associations in B.C. (FISA BC) to share our experience with independent brick-and-mortar schools who switched to an online format due to the pandemic.

“SelfDesign is a global leader in the development of programs and initiatives that foster relationship-based personalized learning,” says Principal of Learning Programs Nikki Kenyon. “We have 20 years of experience in working remotely with learners across British Columbia and in building relationships of trust and authenticity with them. We’ve learned so much in that time, and we’re honoured and delighted to share those learnings with our colleagues via Cognia and with families of learners in North America and beyond during this time of transition.”

Cognia is a non-profit, non-partisan network of educators that works to strengthen and improve schools around the world through training and accreditation. In 2019, SelfDesign Learning Community received Cognia’s prestigious Performance Accreditation.

Watch the full webinar recording here.

Download our Online Learning Tip Sheets here.