Forty Head Start state managers recently visited Erikson to learn the best practices in distance learning from Chip Donohue, dean of Distance Learning and Continuing Education and director of the TEC Center.
The early childhood education specialist state managers with the Office of Head Start Training and Technical Assistance System, who were in Chicago for a national training conference, are responsible for Head Start’s professional development and training in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 8 territories.
“People in our field know Erikson and so were very excited to be here,” says Damón Manning, M.S. ’05, a training and technical assistance program specialist from the Office of Head Start. “Sessions like these provide valuable insight for our specialists so that they can continue serving local programs effectively.”
Insights for online training
Donohue shared with the state managers his insights from developing Erikson’s online master’s program, including the importance of being “fearlessly authentic” and “conspicuously present” to create a cohesive online classroom experience.
“EriksonOnline uses new and emerging technologies to create strong relationship-based learning for early childhood professionals. It’s a high-tech and high-touch learning environment,” says Donohue. “It’s why we can say ‘It’s Erikson and it’s online.’”
Watch Chip Donohue’s presentation slides » [PPT, 25pg]
According to Manning, many of the state managers brainstormed ways to replicate some of EriksonOnline’s techniques for creating and delivering educational content.
“Our early childhood education specialists work a lot with mentoring and coaching strategies, and the engagement level, such as that reflected in EriksonOnline, and the way faculty directly address the students in their videos really resonated with them and it left them wanting to know more,” says Manning.