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English Language Learners

Online Learning Opportunities

What Are the Free ICMEE eWorkshops for Educators of ELs?

  • Topics: All eWorkshops are about improving teaching and learning for ELs (multicultural and multilingual students) across grade levels and classroom contexts.
  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: Online
  • Organization/Time: All e-workshops have the same structure. Each has 6 units, and each unit takes about 3 hours to complete.
  • Flexible: Start and end on your timeline, engage all online or via F2F or hybrid approaches. Running a 12-week PLC around an e-workshop has worked well for many groups.
  • Collaborative Learning: for professional learning communities of teachers. Groups of about 5–6 educators have worked well. A school or district can have multiple small groups running at the same time.
  • Inquiry oriented: developed around an essential questions and guiding questions for each unit.
  • Impactful: Teachers and their supervisors report strong learning outcomes and improved practice working with bilingual learners.
  • Content Provided by: The International Consortium for Multilingual Excellence in Education (ICMEE), funded by a National Professional Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • PDPs: As a PDP provider, the district may choose to offer PDPs for the e-workshops.

The ICMEE eWorkshops are flexible, online, multi-media resources for professional learning communities of educators to engage in collaboratively. They are not facilitated externally, rather are resources available, with a 2 week notice, for groups of educators wishing to inquire into their own practice with multilingual students and learn collaboratively.

Each eWorkshop has 6 units and each unit takes about 3 hours of an educator's time to complete. Each unit follows the same three-part learning cycle of:

  • Explore: participants engage with videos, short readings, and other relevant materials to engage with new ideas and concepts related to the eWorkshop topic.
  • Make-It-Work: participants do something relevant in their own practice to put the ideas into practice from Explore. Participants are given at least two fully developed options to choose from, but also are offered a "You Make-It-Work" option where participants can design their own learning activity.
  • Share: each unit ends with a Share, which is a threaded discussion online, but could also be a face-to-face meeting of the eWorkshop participants. eWorkshop participants are encouraged to tailor their engagement with the eWorkshop to best meet their preferred learning styles and wishes—thus face-to-face options may be created, but online options to collaborate exist as well. The purpose of Share is for participants to discuss and share their learning from engaging in both the Explore and Make-it-Work for the unit.

Hundreds of teachers across several states have taken these eWorkshops and find them valuable to their learning. In fact, ∼300 teachers completed eWorkshops last year and 95% of those teachers felt that the eWorkshop they took was effective in helping them learn to work well with multilingual students.

Currently, the eWorkshops can be offered free of cost due to a large federal grant. However, over time, these same eWorkshops will be offered via the WIDA consortium at a small cost. WIDA will also provide some facilitation options. In the meantime, anyone who is interested in ICMEE eWorkshops may use them for free. If you are interested in starting an eWorkshop, please do the following.

  • Identify a group of educators to engage in the eWorkshop collaboratively (we recommend groups of 4–6)
  • As a group, identify the eWorkshop you would all like to take (see available eWorkshops)
  • As a group, define the timeline you would like to work on. This should include a start date, and an end date as well as how long you will spend on each unit. We recommend two weeks per unit (12-weeks for the whole eWorkshop). However, varying lengths of time engaging with the eWorkshops have worked for varying groups according to their specific wishes and needs.
  • When you have a group set up, an eWorkshop selected and a timeline defined, reach out to the ICMEE project via the website with the following information:
    • eWorkshop name you would like to take
    • Start date for eWorkshop (please give us at least two weeks advance notice)
    • End date for eWorkshop
    • Main contact for eWorkshop (please include email, school/district information, and how you learned about the ICMEE eWorkshops)

When ICMEE has this information, they will set up the eWorkshop and send registration information to the main contact for the group. With that information, the group will register in the ICMEE database and be walked step-by-step into the eWorkshop and getting started. From there, the group can engage with the resources of the eWorkshop as they agree to and wish. The goal of these eWorkshops are for each participant to have a strong learning experience that is locally relevant and tailored to their learning interests. Therefore, it is important that each participant take strong ownership over their own learning and engage with the content in ways that are important and meaningful to them.

To learn more about this project or to sign up for an eWorkshop, please contact ICMEE.

Last Updated: February 1, 2019
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