NOW Learning Professional Development: Preparing for Innovative Learning

The Now Learning Workshop Sequence

Created and Delivered by Meg Ormiston


Each of the four workshops is aligned to the ISTE Standards and scaffolds teachers and administrators from teacher-driven classrooms to NOW Learning student-driven classrooms. The workshops’ content focuses on instructional strategies that work in classrooms, hybrid, or Flex-learning environments using various technology tools. Each video-based workshop is structured with five sections and three interactive discussion connections in each. Teachers access the workshops asynchronously from any computer or on the app for learning on the go at any time, at any pace, and at any place. Along with the workshops, everyone engages in the vibrant learning community on our social learning network bringing the total hours of professional learning to fifty-two hours.


Here is the link to the commercial about the sequence



Teacher Focused

Teacher Directed

Teacher as Leader

Teacher as Activator

NOW Classrooms

Who owns the learning?

The teacher owns the learning, planning, and assessment

The teacher plans the instruction, and conferences with students to set goals

The teacher provides a menu of choices for students

Students participate in programs like Makerspaces and Genius Hour

Students direct their learning with the support of the teacher


Direct instruction takes place the majority of the time

Some teacher-directed small group work, most of the time direct instruction

The teacher groups students based on student need

Students work in small groups or centers while the teacher works with small flexible groups

Students self-group and collaborate based on the projects or work independently on personal goals consulting with the teacher as needed


Students work individually on the same steps of the project, moving with the teacher from step to step

The teacher provides step by step directions in the form of a packet and rubric

The teacher organizes small groups for a project

Students have voice and choice about what they create, and they get their work “out the door”

Each student has a personalized learning path and groups are self-selected for projects


Summative assessments are the majority of the grade

Formative assessments are given, but the data is not used to change instruction or pacing

Formative assessments are given, and feedback is provided to students

Formative assessments are used to modify instruction

Students are given immediate feedback as they work on their personalized learning platform

Technology Use

Limited technology use to create projects

Technology is used for skill practice

Technology is used to create projects

Students use technology seamlessly during the day and at home

Students use technology to solve real-world problems, personalize their learning, and connect with outside experts

©Meg Ormiston 2021 All Rights Reserved


Workshop One

Panic to Practical: Remote Learning Done Right!

A Professional Learning Sequence

Designed by Meg Ormiston


Session #1 Why Should we Shift from Compliance to Empowerment?

What an exciting time to be in education as everything can be reimagined! During this session, your team will learn about the NOW Classroom framework that empowers students and teachers in any type of learning environment, including face to face, virtual learning, and in a hybrid model including:

  • Developing a growth mindset for teachers, students, administrators, and parents.
  • Create a deeper understanding of student voice and choice in the movement to empower students.
  • Develop relationships with teachers and students by practicing the 4C’s of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking through project-based learning.

Create blended learning strategies for face-to-face and remote learning.

Session #2 Who Owns the Learning?

In a teacher-focused classroom, the teacher owns the learning, planning, and assessment of everything compared to a NOW Classroom, where the student directs his or her own learning. During this session, teachers will learn strategies and digital tools to empower students to own the learning, including:

  • Establish the use of digital tools to communicate, collaborate, create, and think critically.
  • Identify strategies for students to create work in different models like Makerspaces, Wonder Weeks, and Genius Hour projects.
  • Develop management strategies to organize independent and group projects.
  • Creating and using choice boards with students that empower independent thinking and problem-solving.

Session #3 How Does Instruction Need to Change?

In NOW Classrooms, students self-group and collaborate with each other consulting the teacher as needed. This is in contrast to teacher direct instruction most of the time, while students passively consume information. To make the shift to students owning their learning some things you will experience in this session are:

  • Designing opportunities for students to collaborate in small groups using digital tools.
  • Organizing and managing student learning inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Motivating students to creatively showcase what they have learned.
  • Monitoring learning with small and large groups using different technology resources.

Session #4 Why Modify Assignments?

In teacher-driven classrooms, students work individually on the same steps of a project moving through the process altogether in contrast to students owning the process and managing their learning in a NOW Classroom. Some strategies you will learn in this session include:

  • Rethinking project objectives and assessments to empower students.
  • Changing pedagogy from paper packets of student work and one-size-fits-all rubrics to collaborative projects that include student voice and choice.
  • Managing groups of students using technology tools to collaborate together and publish their projects to a broader audience.
  • Organizing individualized student learning plans and progress monitoring using digital tools.

Session #5 How Do Students Receive Feedback and Assessments?

In NOW Classrooms, students receive feedback from all different sources, including experts across the globe, the teacher, and peers. Learn how to design these feedback loops and technology tools that can help streamline the process of learning. In this session, we will explore:

  • Locating and managing digital tools to provide timely feedback and assessments.
  • Organizing, teaching, and managing peer feedback.
  • Maximizing artificial intelligence tools to provide immediate feedback to students.
  • Using formative assessments to modify instruction.

Session #6 How Can Technology be Used to Solve Real-World Problems?

In NOW Classrooms, students use technology to solve real-world problems, personalizing their learning, and connecting to outside experts instead of completing paper-pencil packets. Learn how to make this a reality by exploring:

  • Preparing our students for their technology-rich future using the tools we have today.
  • Exploring how technology can be used seamlessly at home and at school by establishing new workflows for teachers and students.
  • Exposing students to new career possibilities by connecting with outside experts.
  • Moving beyond skill practice with technology to creating using digital tools.

Workshop Two

Connecting and Collaborating: Refining Remote Teaching

By Meg Ormiston

Commercial for the Video Series

Video Agenda and Session Introduction


Designed for practicing educators, this five-part video series is the missing instructional strategies workshop for remote and transitional education. Meg Ormiston delivers upbeat interactive asynchronous sessions to engage and inspire educators to refine their planning, assignments, assessments, and the use of technology tools.


Session #1 Collaborating in Student Teams

Students working together, even if they are apart, is the secret sauce of remote learning. This session will guide you through creating student micro-teams and designing meaningful projects for groups of students to complete together. Face to face, remote, or hybrid students can work collaboratively to focus on:

  • Connecting and collaborating with other students to support social, emotional learning (SEL)
  • Moving from compliance to empowerment, working as a team of learners
  • Empowering students to actively own their learning as they develop independent and interdependent group skills

Session #2 Thinking Critically About Redesigning Instruction

Session two will focus on redesigning instruction for the productive whole group and small group collaborative work. During this session, teachers will learn how to restructure teaching and learning if students are together or apart. Topics include:

  • Strategic collaboration strategies for small groups
  • Instructional strategies that work in breakout rooms
  • Redesigning synchronous and asynchronous learning 

Session #3 Designing Assignments that Empower Learners

Focusing on creating quality assignments for groups of students to complete together to demonstrate that they understand the concepts is the theme of session three. Together or apart, this session will help teachers structure learning activities and projects that will engage all learners. These include:

  • Creating quality assignments instead of busywork for students
  • Modifying past assignments to prepare students for their future
  • Designing quality assignments for high impact collaborative learning

Session #4 Creating Meaningful Assessments and Feedback for Students

Providing useful feedback to students is a challenge if we are teaching or learning together or apart. In remote settings, assessments and feedback strategies need to be modified. During this session, educators will learn high impact strategies that include: 

  • Feedback strategies that matter in the classroom or remote learning
  • Students creating projects to demonstrate what they have learned
  • Technology tools for feedback and assessments

Session #5 Communicating Using Digital Tools

The role of technology is critical if we are together in a classroom or moving between remote learning and hybrid models. During this session, teachers will learn about a variety of technology tools they can use for:

  • Designing and managing self-paced learning
  • Technology tools to simplify remote teaching and learning
  • Creating opportunities for collaboration using digital tools

Workshop Three

Reimagine the Future of Learning


It is time to rethink learning for future success, for all. This five-part video professional development series will have you reflecting on critical themes about teaching and learning. Meg Ormiston delivers these upbeat interactive asynchronous sessions focused on future learning inside and outside of school, preparing for whatever the future holds for schooling.


Session #1 Now Who Owns the Learning?

Collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking are a few of the skills our learners need today and to prepare them for their future. Empowering learners to own their journey of discovery will shift from teacher-focused classrooms to student-driven rich discovery. Given what we learned during the pandemic, we need to prepare for learning any time, any place, and at any pace.


  1. Understanding the Social Mechanics of Change
  2. Unlearning Schooling and Learning
  3. Learning Any Time, Any Place, and at Any Pace

Session #2 Separating Learning From Schooling and Instruction

Information today is everywhere, and we need to help our learners unlearn and relearn as things change and shift. Adults control schooling, systems, and legacy thinking, while authentic deep learning at any age can happen anywhere online or off. Explore the differences between schooling and learning.


  1. Instruction in the World of YouTube
  2. Acceleration for All Is Equity for All
  3. Structuring Learning Around Standards

Session #3 Learners Creating Projects

Let learners demonstrate what they know and can do by creating, designing, and doing, not recalling isolated facts that can easily be Googled. Leave behind one size fits all direct instruction and personalize learning for teams of learners and individuals as they share their projects globally.


  1. Personalized Learning Plans for All
  2. Content Standards Embedded in Projects
  3. Personalized Assignments Align to Project Goals

Session #4 Learning and Growing Through Meaningful Feedback

As groups of learners create projects, they will seek feedback from experts online and off during the process of learning, not after the work is completed. Learners will use this feedback to modify the process and projects they are developing. 


  1. Seamless and Ongoing Feedback Frame Projects
  2. Learners Collect Feedback During the Process of Learning
  3. Projects are Shared with a Global Audience

Session #5 Learning Accelerated With Technology Tools

Technology tools and features will continue to connect our learners in ways we never thought were possible. Accelerating learning using various technology tools prepares our learners for a globally connected future collaborating to solve deep, complex problems.


  1. Technology is Ubiquitous
  2. Learners are Active Members of a Global Community
  3. Technology is Used to Solve Real-World Problems with Teams Across the Globe


Workshop Four

Empowering Learners: Creating Flexible Thinkers


Learning how to learn in this fast-paced world are skills that everyone needs today. Join Meg Ormiston for this five-part professional learning series created for practicing educators navigating the future of learning to develop flexible thinkers.


Session #1 Learning How to Learn

Learners are empowered to create their learning path to the agreed-upon standards, and they create, organize, and share digital artifacts demonstrating what they know and can do. Individuals and groups create authentic models and projects and communicate this to a broader community.


  1. Balancing Structures and Freedom at the Local Level While Collaborating Globally
  2. Flexible Thinking and Production
  3. Communicating the Learning Journey Using Media

Session #2 Seeking Knowledge Online and Off

Learners become knowledge seekers and computational thinkers as they explore the world around them. Validating the information they find from multiple sources is critical for current and future learners living in a global society. 


  1. Identifying Trusted Sources of Information
  2. Seeking Experts as Primary Sources of Information
  3. Teaching and Learning From the Community Near and Far

Session #3 Project Management Fundamentals

Learners at every level need to learn how to learn and manage their time successfully. Learners need to be guided and coached on how to manage complex tasks by setting manageable goals. Life-long learning is a balancing act that everyone needs to practice. 


  1. Organizing and Planning Tasks within Projects
  2. Juggling Personal Goals with Group Expectations
  3. Publishing Individual and Group Work

Session #4 Reflecting and Goal Setting

Setting goals and reflecting on progress are essential skills for everyone, but do we teach learners how to manage their progress and reorganize their path to success? Outside of schooling, acceleration and remediation happen naturally as learners discover gaps in their knowledge and need to backtrack for answers.

Learners celebrate their success by sharing artifacts and projects beyond the walls of the classroom.


  1. Creating, Tracking, and Refining Individual and Group Goals
  2. Acceleration and Remediation as Needed Based on Assessments and Feedback
  3. Communicating Successes and Challenges to Stakeholders

Session #5 Technology NOW

We can help create flexible thinkers as they ubiquitously move between technology tools and apps. Learners need experience with a wide range of technology tools to help craft a toolkit of resources they are comfortable using. Digital portfolios show what learners know and can share evidence of learning.


  1. Using Real-World Technology Tools to Manage Communication and Collaboration
  2. Independently Create and Publish a Digital Portfolio
  3. Creating a Visual Representation of Growth Using Technology Tools

Registration Link Coming Soon

Email Meg with questions