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About

Advocates for Youth recognizes that there are many skills effective educators need to master in order to teach sexuality education. These skills are outlined in the Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education, released in Spring 2019. Given limited time and differing needs for each teacher during in-person PD, teachers often don’t get a chance to practice in a way that can further their unique needs and support their professional growth. Virtual PD is a simulated classroom where teachers can practice teaching student avatars using short scenarios and support from an instructional coach, so they can quickly learn and master the skills they most need to be effective. With upper elementary, middle and high school classrooms, Virtual PD has scenarios for teachers of all grade levels across s wide range of topics. 

Background on Research Supporting Virtual PD

Advocates for Youth conducted a small research study in partnership with the University of Central Florida in Spring 2017 to test the effectiveness of teacher training using the Mursion virtual classroom versus traditional in-person methods. We found statistically significant results from the teachers who used Mursion to rehearse skills with the student avatars compared to the teachers in traditional in-person workshops. Leveraging this exciting result, and in partnership with East Carolina University’s exciting work with the Mursion virtual classroom, we are now offering a wide range of core skills and scenarios all related to being an effective teacher of sexual health education with students K-12.

We have aligned all of the scenarios we offer with Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education to provide guidance to school administrators and classroom educators about the content, skills, and professional disposition related to the implementation of sex education in each scenario. At the bottom of each scenario description, you will find a number. This number corresponds to a specific learning standard.

How to Participate with Groups of Teachers

There are three steps involved scheduling a session with Virtual PD. Please make sure to read each step through carefully to ensure this technology is a good match for your needs. .

Step 1

Schedule a date/time for your hour(s) in the classroom simulator through the Mursion@ECU scheduler. It is highly recommended that participants watch the 3-5 minute video prior to your practice session in the simulator. A link to this video will be sent in the calendar invite confirming the date/time you’ve selected.

Step 2

Assess your teachers to determine which skill scenario and/or grade level you should start with. We recommend using the Professional Learning Standards Self Assessment as a quick, easy tool to gather this information from your teachers. Then you can determine which skill scenario and/or grade level you want to have your teachers practice.

 

Step 3

Next, determine the logistics of how your teachers will interact with the simulated classroom.

There are the following options:

In small groups of between 2-5 teachers per hour, during which each teacher practices once and observes other teachers practice, with opportunities for feedback and discussion after each teacher’s practice session.

In large groups during which between 2-5 teachers practice in front of their peers while others observe and discuss together. This is less impactful, since not all teachers get a chance to rehearse, but is still beneficial.

Step 4

Schedule a date/time for your hour(s) in the classroom simulator through the Mursion@ECU scheduler. It is highly recommended that participants watch the 3-5 minute video prior to your practice session in the simulator. A link to this video will be sent in the calendar invite confirming the date/time you’ve selected.

Step 5

Using the link provided in the calendar invite, at the appointed date/time log in via Zoom. Teachers can be gathered in one place or log-in from a variety of locations at the same time. You will be met by one of our Instructional Coaches who will first check your technological connection to ensure you can see/hear everything easily. They will then review and confirm the scenario and assignment you have selected. Then you will begin the interaction with the opportunity to pause at any time, receive feedback from the Instructional Coach and re-start. Each practice session takes approximately 5-10 minutes including time for feedback.

For any questions or more information, please contact Nora Gelperin, M.Ed., Director of Sexuality Education & Training, Advocates for Youth at nora@advocatesforyouth.org.

How to Participate Individually

There are three steps involved scheduling a session with Virtual PD. Please make sure to read each step through carefully to ensure this technology is a good match for your needs. .

Step 1

Schedule a date/time for your hour(s) in the classroom simulator through the Mursion@ECU scheduler. It is highly recommended that participants watch the 3-5 minute video prior to your practice session in the simulator. A link to this video will be sent in the calendar invite confirming the date/time you’ve selected.

Step 2

Select your desired scenario and grade level from the list of options. Please read each scenario carefully to make sure it reflects the skill you want to practice. In each scenario description there is a link to a short video we created to provide a refresher on the core concepts of that skill, which may help guide your selection. 

Step 3

Using the link provided in the calendar invite, at the appointed date/time log in via Zoom.. You will be met by one of our Instructional Coaches who will first check your technological connection to ensure you can see/hear everything easily. They will then review and confirm the scenario and assignment you have selected. Then you will begin the interaction with the opportunity to pause at any time, receive feedback from the Instructional Coach and re-start. Each practice session takes approximately 5-10 minutes including time for feedback.

For any questions or more information, please contact Nora Gelperin, M.Ed., Director of Sexuality Education & Training, Advocates for Youth at nora@advocatesforyouth.org.

Schedule a Session

If you are ready to schedule a session, please use this link: http://ecumursion.simplybook.me/

If you would like to schedule a demonstration, please contact Nora Gelperin, M.Ed., Director of Sexuality Education & Training, Advocates for Youth at nora@advocatesforyouth.org.

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