The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in collaboration with the Military Families Learning Network will present the “Back to School 2021: Getting Ready for Virtually Anything” webinar from 11 a.m. to noon on June 30.
The webinar is free and open to anyone interested in the topic. Participants should RSVP at https://bit.ly/3cbvXkV. Instructions and a link to the webinar will be emailed once the RSVP is received.
“This webinar will focus on tips and strategies for effective virtual communication for working with individuals with special needs,” said Rachel Brauner, AgriLife Extension program specialist -military program in the agency’s Family and Community Health Unit.
Webinar material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy, U.S. Department of Defense.”
Continuing education credit is available to professionals in social work as well as case managers, board certified patient advocates and certified family life educators. Certificates of completion are available for participants interested in receiving training hours.
Webinar purpose and presenter
Brauner said there were some serious disruptions during the school year in 2020-21 resulting in a number of educational challenges for students with special needs, their parents, caregivers, teachers and service providers.
“To address these challenges, it was necessary to quickly develop and implement a virtual infrastructure to supplement or use as a substitute for in-person interaction and engagement,” she said. “This webinar, which is being presented as a sequel to last year’s ‘Back to School: Special Needs and Social Distancing’ webinar, seeks to address some of the concerns with virtual learning.”
The webinar will be presented by Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension specialist – special populations, Bryan-College Station. Mahadevan has a doctorate in educational psychology with an emphasis in career development education from Texas A&M University. Her areas of expertise include universal design for learning, and accessible curriculum.
Mahadevan has more than 15 years of experience in conducting face-to-face and online professional development with educators in Texas addressing various special populations-related issues. She evaluates the accessibility of educational programs, oversees curriculum fidelity and quality control of a community-based life skills program for ages 18 through 24. Additionally, she provides subject matter expertise on advancing equity in career and technical education.
“We hope this webinar will help participants by providing guidance and insights toward more effective virtual communication and interactive engagement between parents or other caregivers and school personnel, teachers and service providers,” Brauner said.