ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When the state made the call to push back in-person learning, many teachers were relieved as COVID-19 cases spiked in the state. But that decision also tasked educators with relying more than ever on remote learning, and they moved lessons out of the classroom and onto a screen.
The New Mexico Public Education Department announced recently that it will provide free Central New Mexico Community College training to help with the transition. It will be offered to public K-12 educators on Zoom from Aug. 7 to Aug. 18, tackling such topics as how to get students engaged in a virtual setting and how to optimize online platforms.
The training comes after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the state would hold off on in-person classes until at least September, switching course from the original plan of mixing classes and learning at home.
A teacher advocacy group found professional development surrounding remote learning was in demand. Teach Plus New Mexico’s survey of about 600 educators statewide found technology access and training were significant hurdles when it came to distance learning.
CNM Ingenuity – a nonprofit affiliate of the college – is prepping educators who will facilitate the workshops, according to a CNM news release.
“There will be up to eight workshops every day, Monday-Saturday, and there will be up to 300 K-12 teachers in each workshop. A total of about 18,000 teachers are eligible to attend,” the news release states. “After Aug. 18, a self-paced online course will be available for teachers who couldn’t make the in-person presentations.”
Registration details are at CNMIngenuity.org.
“Just as students across New Mexico deserve access to technology for remote learning, so too do our educators deserve access to professional development that supports their transition into the virtual environment,” PED Deputy Secretary Gwen Perea Warniment wrote in part in a statement.
The survey from Teach Plus New Mexico, which is also facilitating teacher trainings, found that the vast majority of educators who responded needed help engaging students digitally and making distance learning equitable. The research also found that there was a call for training on such online programs as Zoom and Google Classroom.