At FLCOE, we want our educators to teach their students in hands-on, engaging ways with opportunities for discourse and interaction.  Typically, orientation allows us to emulate this for our educators through training that not only equips them for a successful year but also builds relationships through conversations and enjoyable interactive experiences.  This year we were faced with the challenge to capture the same spirit through a virtual platform.  One of the ways that we did this was through the use of interactive programs like Mentimeter and Nearpod.  These programs allow participants to share ideas and interact in a myriad of ways that provide an escape from the standard virtual training experience.  Some presenters used Mentimeter to take quizzes and collaborate to create a word cloud around a specific topic. Other presenters used both Menitmeter and Nearpod to ask a guiding question and have participants post their responses in a way where they could all see and discuss the responses, including liking each other’s comments either through a digital heart or thumbs up.  One of the most impactful ways we tried to build a sense of community was in our daily prayer room.  We created a channel through Teams where anyone who wanted to could meet for morning prayer. Using Mentimeter, any participant could post their prayer request.  The presenter’s shared screen allowed everyone to view the requests in a scrolling format and collectively pray over them at the end.  Even in the midst of this Covid-19 crisis, the Lord provides a way for His people to learn, grow, and walk alongside one another, even if it’s virtually.

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