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How we switched to online CLPL during the Coronavirus pandemic

How our School Communities team switched to digital training this year.

Audience: Professionals

Last updated: 14 December 2020

This year, everyone has had to shift online – from socializing over Zoom quizzes to hosting digital events. Our School Communities Outreach team have been no different! Usually we would be hitting the road throughout the school year, delivering training, speaking with teachers and librarians, and visiting pupils in their schools. This year that hasn’t been possible, and instead we’ve had to move our offer online.

Since the start of the pandemic, all of our CLPL has been delivered digitally. We’ve hosted webinars, joined network meetings and recorded training videos for our partners across a number of platforms. While we miss working with schools in-person - and have encountered some challenges along the way - there have also been advantages to this new way of working. We’ve had the chance to work more closely with probationers and Newly Qualified Teachers, have a greater geographical reach with our training, and made our offer more accessible for practitioners. Instead of rushing to a venue after school, learning professionals can take part in our CLPL from the comfort of their own home, or even watch the recording at a later date.

Working online has also allowed us to be flexible. We’ve been able to create content that's relevant to blended learning and ongoing local. Online training has also been a great way to share best practice and great ideas from across Scotland, as teachers and librarians continue to promote reading in new and innovative ways.

Our book discovery sessions were a new introduction to the training programme this year. Teachers and librarians join an informal forum to share book recommendations and hear about great new titles from our team that can be used in class or part of a project. One benefit of these sessions has been the opportunities for professionals to connect with one another in a way they wouldn't usually be able to due to distance or financial constraints. Practitioners from across Scotland can share ideas, while also developing their knowledge of children’s books – it's like a virtual book club!

Our next run of CLPL training dates have just been announced for January and Feburary. We’re very excited to offer a new series of webinars and book discovery sessions – and not forgetting our first ever First Minister’s Reading Challenge shared practice event! We’re always keen for your feedback and whether there are sessions you’d like us to run. We hope to see more of you (online!) in 2021!