We are now in our third week of the online course for SEND team leaders. This week we are working on our job descriptions, after having discussed the essential tasks of a leader and the SEND Team Leader Profile in the previous two weeks. I have been delighted to see 16 team leaders from many different SEND areas interact with one another in the class forums, encouraging one another, asking questions, and sharing principles they have learned about leadership. We have participants from 8 different areas of SEND, and a wide range of leadership experiences in many different countries and contexts, so we have a lot of stories to tell. There is never a time when everyone is online (or awake) at the same time, but as long as participants regularly login several times during the week, the discussions can flow as each participant posts his comments in an open forum that all the class members can read and reply to.
For me as facilitator, it has been a very positive experience thus far, and convinces me that online training across multiple time zones is not only possible and inexpensive, but can provide a quality learning experience as well. Of course, this is not my first experience with online training. Over the past year or so, I have had the opportunity to take two training modules from EFCA EQUIP on this very topic of first developing and then facilitating online modules. Since these courses trained us by word and example how to make online courses highly interactive and focused on self-discovery, the learning experience was very enjoyable, and so much better than other distance education courses I have taken in the past. Since my first course with EQUIP, I have wanted to try training within our mission using the same format, and now I am in the middle of realizing that dream.
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