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Online Professional Development Through Virtual Learning Communities

Based on the experiences of a large, urban district, this guide shows how to build an effective online professional development program that incorporates peer-to-peer learning.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452276663
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2013
  • Page Count: 120
  • Publication date: June 07, 2013

Price: $24.95

Price: $24.95
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Powerful collaborative learning—anytime, anyplace!

Online learning seems like a perfect solution for cost-conscious districts and busy teachers, but can these programs also deliver high-caliber professional learning? Using one district’s success story as a model, this timely book shows you how to combine well-designed online instruction with the energy of peer-to-peer collaboration. At the heart of this book is a model that supports powerful professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for every student.

Sonja Hollins-Alexander writes from her own experience building a successful online professional development (PD) program for a large urban district. Readers will find

  • Research-based support for online PD and the author’s original Learner-Learner model
  • A thorough planning guide and ten action steps for program development
  • Best practices for managing staffing and resources
  • Strategies for establishing a true community of learners online

Discover how to create a sustainable online PD program that promotes collaboration and growth!

“This book provides district and school leaders with a practical guide to shifting professional learning from more traditional ‘sit and get’ models to technology-enhanced models that foster collaboration and co-creation.”
—Catherine Huber, Principal
Northwood Elementary, West Seneca, NY

Watch Sonja Hollins-Alexander's webinar, Professional Learning Through Virtual Communities, hosted by Learning Forward

Key features

  • Provides a cost-effective alternative to face-to-face professional learning that is much-needed at a time when PD budgets are tight and districts continue to increase in size.
  • A practical, hands-on guide to creating and sustaining Virtual Learning Communities that lead to enhanced teacher effectiveness and increased levels of student achievement.
  • Reality-based: tells the story of a successful initiative that was enacted across a large, complex urban school district.
  • Grounded in a social-constructivist framework for professional learning -- the Learner - Learner Model.
  • Includes an indispensable planning guide for use by districts as they begin to undertake similar initiatives.


Sonja Hollins-Alexander photo

Sonja Hollins-Alexander

Sonja Hollins-Alexander is the associate vice president, content advisor, and scholar for Corwin Publishing. She has been in the field of education and publishing for thirty years with sixteen of those being in educational leadership at the school, district, and higher education levels, and eight of those being in educational consulting and publishing. During this time, she has served as a school social worker, teacher, assistant principal, principal, coordinator, director of professional learning, and chief of staff, serving in two Metro Atlanta, Georgia, school districts. She continued her profession beyond K–12 as a senior consultant for professional development firms and independently. She has also served on numerous United Way nonprofit boards and served as the board president for Learning Forward Georgia and as a member of the National Affiliate Leadership Council for Learning Forward.

Through her professional journey, she has had experiences in strategic planning, policy development, stakeholder communication and engagement, instructional and curriculum design, facilitation of adult learning strategy, executive leadership coaching, and conference fFacilitation and design, and has served on numerous quality assurance teams with Cognia school accreditation and certification organization. She is a Corwin author of Online Professional Development Through Virtual Learning Communities and coauthor of Collective Equity.

Sonja holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work, a teaching certificate in middle grades language arts, a specialist’s degree in educational administration and leadership, and a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction. She is committed to partner engagement and implementation of evidence-informed sustained professional learning services that positively impact teaching and learning—not by chance but by design.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface: The Evolution of a Design


About the Author

About the Contributors

1. The Learner-Learner Model

2. Getting It Started: A Planning Guide

3. 10 Action Steps to an Online Virtual Learning Community

4. The Process: Transitioning a Face-to-Face Professional Learning Community to an Online Virtual Learning Community

5. Getting It Done: What Structures Support the Implementation of a Virtual Learning Community?

6. Building Capacity and Sustainability: School-Based Virtual Learning Cohorts

7. Pitfalls Don't Hold You Back

8. Summary: My Reflections





Price: $24.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.