DENVER – The Colorado Education Association is breaking new ground in continued professional learning with COpilot, an innovative, flexible online learning platform for teachers and education support professionals. The CEA is the first association of educators in the country to launch a statewide, interactive tool delivering peer-to-peer teaching support.
“We designed COpilot to give Colorado teachers a professional edge to help every student thrive,” said CEA President Kerrie Dallman. “Our school districts are badly underfunded and they’re struggling to provide relevant resources to keep their staffs current on the ever-changing world of classroom practice. We’ve stepped up to fill that void with a new way forward that will revolutionize professional development with new opportunities and allow districts to leverage their greatest resource, their people.
“We’re proving with COpilot that the most effective methods to improve teaching do not have to come from an expensive consultant or the latest ‘big idea in education’ from the corporate world,” Dallman added. “We have phenomenal teaching talent we can tap right here in Colorado. Highly experienced teachers have stepped forward across the state. They are ready to lead and they are taking charge of their profession on COpilot.”
** Listen to Kerrie Dallman’s CEA Leader Podcast on COpilot HERE **
COpilot features courses and lesson plans designed and taught by CEA members, and offers resources and supports all in one convenient place educators can access any time.
** Watch CEA’s COpilot promotional video HERE **
“COpilot gives me a tremendous opportunity to work with fellow educators throughout Colorado and pass on ideas and strategies they can use in the classroom to engage their students,” said Scot Kaye, an 18-year teacher in the Cherry Creek School District. Kaye, a member of Cherry Creek Education Association, has facilitated COpilot courses on the Finnish education system and excessive testing.
“Teaching my own students and watching them grow is very rewarding, but COpilot lifts my teaching to a greater level because I can now positively impact hundreds of teachers and thousands of their students far beyond my classroom,” Kaye explained. “Teachers teaching teachers is the right work for my Association to do and I’m excited to be among the first teachers in the country to share my knowledge with colleagues on such a dynamic learning platform.”
Course facilitators earn money for teaching their courses, and teachers completing courses can earn graduate credit from Adams State University and accrue professional development hours for license renewal.
“I was very impressed by the ease of communicating with the instructor and classmates in COpilot, and the website is phenomenal,” said Lisa Chavez, a third-year teacher in the Lamar RE-2 School District. Chavez, a member of Lamar Education Association, recently completed a COpilot course on intentional interruption and understanding professional development verses professional learning.
“I teach in a small town, and while my district does what it can to help us improve, rural teachers need to take advantage of every opportunity to keep current on the best education practices,” observed Chavez. “The teacher instructors in COpilot live in my world and they’ve given me a greater awareness on how my students learn and what I can do to help them fulfill their potential. Having this wealth of outside expertise literally at my fingertips is a wonderful benefit for me and my students, and I can’t wait to take another course.”
COpilot is available to all educators in Colorado regardless of membership with CEA, though members receive the lowest priced courses. Learn more about COpilot by contacting Casey Kilpatrick, CEA’s director of learning services.