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Online Professional Learning and
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21st Century Community Learning Centers



January 16, 2013

If you’d rather develop your own training but need a little bit of guidance, try a Training Starter like this one for developing “Objectives that Work”. The meat of the training – called the Training Middle – instructs you to gather participant input, lead activities, and convey important points to the group. The opening and closing are left blank, resulting in a framework that can help you organize your thoughts while keeping in mind the principles of effective trainings.

The Training Starter templates can be downloaded as PDFs or as Microsoft Word documents, which means you can edit the document directly and add your own ideas to fill in the existing framework. It is easy to extend or shorten the training to your needs, too.


January 16, 2013

Once you’ve assessed your staff’s needs and prepared content that will target those areas, you can ensure a successful training session by sharpening your training skills. Each Coaching Module contains a section called Build Staff Skills, where training tips from experienced trainers are highlighted.

The STEM module, for example, presents some general training tips like the ones on this page. It also offers suggestions for how to put some training principles into action through interactive features like the one on this page.

Review the tips in each Build Staff Skills section, then check your next professional development plan to see how many of these best practices you are implementing and which ones you might want to add.


January 16, 2013

The Y4Y Team will be travelling to the Beyond School Hours XVI conference in Jacksonville, FL, from February 20-23, and have we got some great surprises in store for you! If you didn’t get a chance to visit us in San Francisco last February or in New Orleans last August, we hope to see you at BSH next month.

Once again we’ll be hosting our all-day Digital Lounge on Thursday and Friday, giving you a chance to test drive the Y4Y portal while we’re right there to answer your questions and give you one-on-one assistance. You can explore the site on your own, try some of our fun and interesting challenges that incorporate the Y4Y materials, or even get feedback on some of the projects you’ve been developing with the help of Y4Y resources.

But wait there’s more! We can’t go into the details right now because we’re sworn to absolute secrecy, but we can tell you that we’re going to have a big announcement to share with everyone during the keynote address on Thursday.

So if you love Y4Y, hold onto your hats! Because you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!


December 19, 2012

If you missed the great tips and resources our experts shared during the Y4Y STEM webinar on December 13th, we have you covered! Go to the webinar archives page on the Y4Y Exchange and you will have unlimited access to the valuable suggestions from Kim Larson, Director of Professional Development, Nebraska 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and Kristie Maher, Executive Director, South Dakota Discovery Center. To access the STEM webinar recording, visit:

The Y4Y Exchange provides opportunities for interactive discussions with both peers and experts through webinars, discussion boards, and resource sharing. Use these tools to exchange ideas about creating and implementing effective program practices aligned with the learning modules.


December 19, 2012

What might you say or do to encourage STEM thinking habits during student activities? This STEM Thinking Habit activity will provide you with some practice. For each STEM Thinking Habit type a question or two in the Questions to Encourage Thinking column. Here’s a hint; try starting your questions with "how", "what if", or "why.”

Be sure to log in before you start then when you're done, save your work in "My Notebook" so you can download it and print it later. Use it when you're working with students, and notice which questions lead to deeper thinking, such as analyzing, evaluating or creating.

To access this page and to view related materials about incorporating STEM into your programming, click here.