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Online Professional Learning and
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21st Century Community Learning Centers

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March 8, 2013

The Network section is “the place to be” for connecting with out-of-school time colleagues from across the United States. Here you can share your own best practices, concerns, and questions while learning from what others are doing in their programs.

Go ahead and try it out. Start by:

1) Catching up on some posts in the blog to see what’s new at Y4Y and read about featured resources on the portal.

2) Watching one of our quarterly webinars, which are archived here. You can also jot down the date for the next one.

3) Posting a question you about a current challenge in your program on the Discussion Boards. See what kind of feedback the Y4Y community has to offer you.

4) Showcasing something terrific your program has done in the Promising Practices Gallery. Post pictures, videos, lesson plans, and more so that your great thinking and planning can benefit young people beyond your own program.

 



March 8, 2013

Mark your calendars now for the first in our new series of free Coffee Break webinars. The date is Friday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern) and the topic will be “Welcome to the New Y4Y!”

The concept behind the Coffee Break webinars is simple: there will be a brief presentation on a specific feature or resource on the Y4Y portal, followed by an extended Q&A session with the presenters. You can ask about anything you like, whether it’s related to the presentation topic or not.

It will be like having office hours with your college professor, or having your own personal Y4Y expert you can drop in on any time to ask anything you like.

So bring your questions, bring your curiosity, and don’t forget to bring your coffee!

You can register for this webinar for free at http://y4y.webex.com.

 



February 22, 2013

Some big news was revealed at BSH XVI in Jacksonville, Florida, on February 21 – a new design for the Y4Y web portal!

We’ve been collecting lots of feedback over the past couple of years from users like you all over the country. Dr. Lyles and the Department of Education heard you when you said you needed more from the Y4Y portal. The new Y4Y is designed specifically to address those needs.

You said you needed easier access to the portal from your tablets and smart phones. The portal has always been accessible from mobile web devices, but now it uses responsive web design standards to take advantage of mobile technology like never before.

Sound confusing? It’s not! See for yourself and access the portal from a smart phone or tablet today. The site now detects smaller screens and rearranges itself into a layout that’s easier to use than ever before.

You said you needed access to videos from places that don’t always have access to YouTube. From now on all videos will be hosted directly from the portal, making them available virtually everywhere.

You said you needed improved navigation to access everything quicker and more easily. The portal is now divided into four main sections: Learn, Teach, Tools, and Network.

“Learn” contains Introductions (formerly called “Courses”), Implementation Strategies and tips for Coaching your Staff (both formerly found in the Coaching Modules) for each of the five content areas.

“Teach” contains training materials that you can use as is or customize to your particular needs (all formerly found in the Design Studio).

“Tools” is where you’ll find a list of every resource on the portal, and “Network” is where you can participate in online discussions and post pictures and success stories from your program (features formerly found in The Exchange).

It’s all your favorite Y4Y features and content in a brand new layout that we hope you’ll find easier to use and more accessible than ever!

 



February 22, 2013

Send your new staff here for them to get an idea of the purpose, scope, and impact of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. They can learn about the history of the program they are proudly part of and gain an understanding of how Y4Y has been made possible through the U.S. Department of Education’s partnerships and the Department’s commitment to improving program quality.

A narrated slideshow explains how the vision of the 21st CCLC program comes to life in programs across the country.

 



February 22, 2013

The five content modules (Aligning With the School Day, STEM, Strengthening Partnerships, Involving Families, and Project-Based Learning) were carefully selected with you and your new staff members in mind. As Dr. Sylvia Lyles of the U.S. Department of Education expresses on the homepage, the portal is based on your needs in the field.

As your new staff takes each Introduction on the Y4Y portal, they’ll come to the realization that these content areas were chosen because of the quality they lend to out-of-school time programming when they’re done right. They’re also topics that help 21st CCLC programs truly prepare youth for what’s ahead.

For example, the STEM Introduction squarely states that students need STEM to be successful in today’s world. It doesn’t just stop there, luckily. The Introduction goes on to provide background and strategies that equip staff with what they need to get kids exploring the world through STEM and gaining those exact skills that they’ll need in the future.