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    Some people live in an area where schools are rated and teachers are paid based on children’s assessment results. In this age of accountability, this scenario is becoming more common. Although accountability is one reason for assessment, learning is assessed for many other reasons. Educators need to be familiar with different types of assessments, their purposes, and their uses. Assessment is a critical aspect of instruction; it assists teachers in knowing what to teach and what children have learned. Educators must take the time to explore the purpose of assessment and understand the criteria for appropriate assessment.

    Over the last three decades, school shootings have become increasing more frequent. Why is this happening? Our Bullying in Schools course discusses the connections between school shootings, bullying, and gender and social demands placed on children in our schools. Bullying has reached disturbing levels across the country and no one is immune. We’ll discuss aspects of masculinity, social status, violence against girls, cyber-bullying, gay bashing, and adult bullying. This course introduces you to the effects bullying has on our communities and techniques for creating a caring learning environment for our children.

    The Secrets to Classroom Management is designed to guide current and prospective teachers as they create a positive classroom community, with the involvement and cooperation of the students. This course explores the fundamental principles of classroom management and discipline along with discussing ways to involve students in the creation of their learning environment. In this course, we will define classroom management and describe how to understand and prevent student misbehavior. You will learn meaningful communication skills and how to identify diversity within your students. This course will outline how to maintain appropriate student behavior as well as diving into how to handle inappropriate behavior including challenging and violent students.

    Creating a new peer support team for your organization or as a resource for your community is a rewarding adventure. Peer support teams providing the support system needed to help individuals who experience trauma and stress in their daily lives. Becoming a part of a peer support group can allow you to make a difference in the lives of others. In this course, we will walk through the policies and structure of a new peer support team. We will describe the essentials needed to start a team and the community resources available. Lastly, we will interview the leader of a recently formed peer support group that will explain how the team was created and how having the team has impacted the department so far.

    A well-designed website is essential for any organization today, with so many people consuming much of their information online. This suite of courses will teach you the skills you'll need to build a website of your own. Building a website involves a lot more than just writing code. Before you start on that, you need to understand what you want your website to do, how it will look, who you want it to reach, and what message it should send. The first five courses in the suite will introduce you to the basics of designing a functional and attractive site, the HTML and CSS languages you'll need to execute your design, and best practices for designing and building a website that responds intelligently to the needs of users.

    Connections are an important part of peer support. Connections to others give us a support system for dealing with difficult and traumatic situations. In this course, we will discuss the importance of connections and show you how small similarities can build connections between groups of people, describe empathy and differentiate it from sympathy, and allow you to practice empathy by determining the correct empathetic response to a peer's situation. Completing this course will give you knowledge and understanding of how creating connections impacts peer support.

    As an educator, you work to make sure your students are in a physically safe classroom environment, but what about socially and emotionally? It is extremely important for students to feel valued, that their social identity and cultures are accepted, and that they are welcomed members of the classroom. Our Creating Safe Classroom Environments course helps educators gain the knowledge for building positive, trustworthy, and challenging curriculum and environments that allow students to flourish. These practices help to empower students to take charge of their own learning and goals.

    Debriefing is one of three interventions of critical incident stress management. This tool can be used one of two ways. It can be done by a team within the department or office with professionals directly involved in the traumatic or stressful event or it can be done by an outside team trained in debriefing. Debriefing is generally the next step after defusing when the peer supporters identifying a need for further support beyond the initial group discussion. This tool gives support to individuals in a team where they can identify with others experiencing the same feelings and thoughts after the traumatic event. In this course, we will start by describing debriefing and discuss the structure and reasons for holding a debriefing.

    Defusing is one of three interventions of critical incident stress management. This tool is used in peer support to touch individuals who have just experienced a traumatic or stressful situation that could lead to a critical incident. Defusing allows peer supporters to come together with those involved in or exposed to the situation and give them a place to speak freely about their initial thoughts and feelings as well as providing information on what to expect in the first 24-48 hours after the situation. In this course, we will define defusing and outline the structure. Through video, we will demonstrate a successful defusing with a group of emergency personnel that all experienced a automobile accident that resulted in a death.

    Creating effective online learning courses and simulations can be a challenge. There are tools and techniques, as well as best practices, that can help those designing and creating online learning content for organizations and institutions of higher education. This course offers instruction on the major models, tools, and techniques in creating and delivering online learning. It reviews the fundamentals of general learning theory and how it can be applied, in practice, to online design and instruction. Further, the course provides a brief survey of the technology employed in online learning, best practices for teaching online, strategies for integrating narrative learning into an educational curriculum, and the basics of developing accessible online learning.

    Developmentally appropriate and effective practices are a valuable tool for educators in the classroom. Following effective practices and curriculum standards allows educators to provide the best structure for students learning experience. In this course, we will explore the three ares of knowledge that form the core of developmentally appropriate practice, analyze stages of play, discuss curriculum development, and more.

    The elementary classroom today, is more diverse, inclusive, and plugged in to technology than ever before and although schools today are changing so rapidly, the power of differentiation remains the same and the need is ever growing! Teachers today are under tremendous pressure to help ensure students meet a set of rigorous, standardized learning topics. Differentiation in the Elementary Classroom will guide teachers with the division of time, resources, and efforts to effectively instruct their students.