Digital Learning Together

Staying Connected

Physical distancing doesn't mean we can't stay connected! Here are a few ways we can stay in touch. We are working on hosting different online conversations to be responsive to current needs, continue learning, and preparing for the months ahead. We will post all upcoming opporutnities and recordings for those with content to share.

Virtual Coffee Meetings. Whether you are looking for a thought partner for a specific need or just to see how others are adjusting, these informal "hang outs" are great ways to connect.

Brown Bag Lunches. Peer presentations or content discussions to learn from the expertise of the network!

Webinar Trainings. Interactive professional development opportunities on youth worker topics. 

Do you have a TOPIC you want some thought partners to connect on?  Do you have INFO to share that other programs may want to hear?  Contact and lets make it happen!

Past Workshop Recordings

Ramsey County Children's Crisis - Ashley Sporer from Ramsey County shares how you, young people and families can access crisis response services in Ramsey County.

Virtual Engagement: Connecting from a DistanceVirtual Engagement PPT

With minimal in-person, face to face time we are relying heavily on video conferencing as a way to connect both personally and professionally. We know that building relationships and connectedness is key to the social and emotional supports that we all need right now, however, this doesn’t always translate in these virtual platforms. This interactive meeting will model a variety of web-based tools and engagement techniques that bring fun and connection to online meetings with either young people or adults. Be prepare to be hands on and engaged!

Creating Engaging Online Spaces for Elementary AgesCreating Engagement PPT
Youth workers are great at creating engaging spaces for children in traditional settings. But in a virtual setting, finding ways to address the physical, emotional, and attention needs of participants can be a challenge. This interactive session will introduce games and strategies for creating a safe, supported and interactive virtual program with young people.

Making Virtual Learning Equitable - Equitable Engagement PPT
The corona-virus pandemic has forced all of us to move from delivering in-person programming to online platforms. This has required us to be really intentional and think more creatively in how we deliver programming. Now more than ever we must keep at the forefront the issues of equity. Not only related to accessibility issues but how does equity show up in the context of virtual programming including building a sense of community, fostering youth voice and choice, and providing leadership opportunities. Moreover, it is critical to be reflecting on how we as adults show up and model equity. Join us as we engage in dialogue on this important topic, share our experiences and practices, model practices of equitable youth work online, and hear from young people what matters to them. Target audience is youth workers who serve middle school age to young adulthood. Participants will: • Understand how to make virtual learning more equitable • Experience how to build community online • Discuss how you show up in virtual programming and the impacts on youth This workshop is made available through the generous support of Youthprise’s COVID 19 Emergency Response Fund to support professional development made for youth workers by youth workers.

Working WITH Youth: Youth-Adult PartnershipsYouth-Adult Workshop PPT  and Balance Chart 
Youth programs often talk about the desire for youth/adult partnership but what does that really mean? In this training participants will learn what it means to authentically work WITH youth. It is important that adults understand they are not working for youth and youth are not working for adults. Rather in high quality youth work true partnership happens in the “WITH”. There are concepts in Youth Development that provide a foundation and language for this partnership, but real-life examples from people doing the work bring these to life. Participants will learn how this workshop was created in partnership and discuss with peers how to bring the concept of working “WITH” youth to your daily practice. This workshop is made available through the generous support of Youthprise’s COVID 19 Emergency Response Fund to support professional development made for youth workers by youth workers.

Past Brown Bag Recordings

SPPS Discovery Club provides Essential Kids Care - Hear from Megan and Sarah about providing Essential Kids Care during Stay at Home.

Saint Paul Urban Tennis (SPUT) - Josh Hansen-Connell shares about FREE resources for families and programs to bring the Tennis Where You Are program to you.

St. Paul Public Library; Library Go! - Joseph Houlihan shares free resources available through the library.

"Virtual Recess" with Playworks - Brandon Elsner led engaging activities (here are a couple) that helped up build community, get moving and have fun. They also have great online resources for providers or families!  Here's Brandon sharing about the resources.

ComMUSICation brings youth together to make music - Carey Shunskis from ComMUSICation shares how they moved their music program online.  Also check out their end of the year virtual performance.

Keystone Community Services - Community Kids ProgramEd Steinhauer and Patrick Conn,Keystone Community Kids will share strategies they are using to stay engaged and connected with their elementary aged young people. 

Virtual Programming in Google Meets and Classroom - Janyesha Jackson, Program Director at the West Side Club shares her experience launching virtual programming. She touches on the steps they have taken supporting their elementary aged participants including preparing as staff to move online, recruitment and programming. CLICK HERE for the recording.

Everfi - Stacy Schleeter from Cookie Cart shares how they use EVERFI, a Remote Learning Kit packed with no-cost virtual programs and best practices (info here.).  These digital lessons are completely free, standards-aligned, and educators (Yes... EVERFI recognizes OST staff as educators!) can set up their classes remotely.  Zoom Recording (part 2)

What is DESSA? - Misha Evertz from  Athletes Committed to Educating Students (ACES) shares how they use DESSA in their program to improve and measure outcomes for youth. Click Here to see the recoding (15 min 12 sec) .... and Click HERE to see additional notes from recording (2 min 37 sec)

Discord as a Virtual Programming Space - Staff from The LIFT share how they approached outreach and support for their participants during Stay Home MN and Social Distancing.  

Introduction to Data Visualization - Intro Session

We all know that data is important, but as we share it with others, how do we use it to better tell our story? Join us as we welcome presenters from Walden University for a presentation that will provide an introduction to data visualization. We will also discuss general principles and best practices and share a variety of examples of what not to do and how to improve them. Opening Presentation PPT

After the opening panel attendees will be broken out into breakout session. 

Breakout 1: Who, What, and How: First Steps into Visualizing Your Data – Learn how to use Excel to create data visualizations showing who participated in your program, what your program accomplished, and how your participants benefited from the program. We’ll apply design best practices and combine charts into dashboard reports to share with external and internal audiences. Presenter ~Hillary Blevins First Steps - Breakout 1 PPT

Breakout 2: Pre-test/Post-test & Visual Display – Learn how to use Excel to conduct pre-test/post-test analyses and strategies for communicating the results. We’ll also walk through some visual display options that best fit pre/post data. Presenters ~ Dr. Jim Lenio Pre/post Data - Breakout 2 PPT

Breakout 3: Achieving Excellence in Data Visualization--Beyond the Basics - This session uses Edward Tufte’s principles for achieving excellence in data visualization to display youth and family survey data previously collected by Minnesota youth development organizations. Participants will be able to use the knowledge they acquire in this session to tell the stories of their organizations.  This session goes a little more in depth into theory, and may best suited for participants at an intermediate level of understanding data visualization. Presenters ~ Dr. Martha Larkin, and Dr. Dick Larkin Beyond the Basics- Breakout 2 PPT

Hosted by: Jocelyn Wiedow, Sprockets & Rachel Oberg-Hauser, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board

Hillary Blevins is the Research Data Analyst for Walden University’s Center for Faculty Excellence. She collects and analyses data related to faculty quality and innovative teaching and learning initiatives and reports insights to academic leaders. Before joining Walden University, Hillary worked in the nonprofit field for 18 years, focusing on program design and evaluation.
Dr. Jim Lenio is the Executive Director for Walden University’s Office of Institutional Research & Assessment. He and his team collect, analyze, and report on all types of data and present regularly to various audiences within the University and at academic conferences.
Dr. Martha Larkin, Assessment Director of Teacher Licensure Programs for the Walden University Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership.
Dr. Dick Larkin, Faculty Member in the Walden University PhD Program in Public Policy and Administration.
* Both Martha and Dick were invited to author an article titled, Achieving Excellence in Data Visualization, that was published in the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment Newsletter.


Other  Recorded Trainings, Webinars, and Resources to check out

University of Minnesota Extension - Youth Work Matters. Free Online Self Guided  Online Courses

These free introductory courses are perfect for working from home! Our self-guided courses offer 3-6 hours of individual "go at your own pace" learning with unlimited 24-hour access.

  • Learn about foundational research and theories of positive youth development in Youth Work Matters.
  • Gain practical resources for incorporating reflection and discussion of dilemmas in your work with Dilemmas in Youth Work.
  • Explore a research framework, Rings of Engagement, which outlines four types of youth engagement and youth-adult partnerships in Youth Engagement Matters.


Learning Forward 

Sparks of Change Together-Good Intentions, Bad Results: Why Conversations about Race go Wrong

CESA 6 Webinar Archive - A variety of topics

Learning Technology Center of Illinois - A variety of topics and on demand options


Digital Learning Resources

Stay Energized During Long Day of Video Calls - (2 hours) - include interactive modeling that covers: Why video chats are exausting, easy ways to set up your space and body, ways to pay attention so you aren't drained so quickly, tech tips to maximize your enjoyment online and feel more in control, specific mini-breaks you can take or lead and more. via 

Comprehensive Guide to Educating through Zoom

Using ZOOM Effectively for Active Instruction - By CESA 6 Smart Thinking -This recorded session presents how to use the free version (or the $15/mo version which provides unlimited meeting time .... do an internet search for discount codes to see if you can find one... I found 20% off). We hosted a "sandbox" to play around in Zoom which is a great way to try out the  features.  We suggest this with your staff team or colleagues as well.  Click this link if you want to do a self guided PPT for yourself or to instruct your team. *Note at 20:00 they mention that not all functions may be available with Chromebook...

Different Ways to Deliver Content and Find Resources - By CESA 6  - Learn about a variety of fre websites that allow students to gayther information for different content areas. WAlk thorugh sites that students can use todemonstrate their knowledge and techers can use to deliver content. Sites discussed :Google ARts & Culture, Liobrary of Congress, Open Library, Good tour Builder, Wakelet, Flipsnack. Click this link if you want to do a self guided PPT for yourself or to instruct your team.  

Using TikTok in the Classroom - by Learning Technology Center of Illinois   Click this link if you want to do a self guided PPT for yourself or to instruct your team.  

Suddenly Teaching Online? Free REsources to Help Faculty Affected by Coronovirus -Linked In - collection of learning courses

Remote Working: Setting Yourself Up for Success