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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 a wide range of topics.

 

Costs: Virtual PD is booked by the hour and each hour, including costs to cover the technological platform and instructional coach, is $300. We do offer bulk discounts, so please contact us if you’re interested in scheduling more than 5 hours.

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, we are now offering a wide range of skill scenarios, as outlined in the Professoinal Learning Standards for Sex Education, to help professionals become effective when teaching sex education. At the bottom of each scenario description, you will find a number that corresponds to a specific learning standard.

How to Participate with Groups of Teachers

There are four 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 – Determine Date & Time

Schedule a date/time for your hour(s) in the classroom simulator and contact Nora Gelperin (nora@advocatesforyouth.org) to schedule to ensure an Instructional Coach is available. 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 – Determine Grade & Skill

Assess your teachers to determine which skill scenario and/or grade level you should start with. We recommend using the Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education 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 – How Will Teachers Access Platform

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 – Day Of Your Session

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 and contact Nora Gelperin (nora@advocatesforyouth.org) to ensure an Instructional Coach is available. 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 contact Nora Gelperin, M.Ed., Director of Sexuality Education & Training, Advocates for Youth at nora@advocatesforyouth.org.

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