ATLANTA (March 30, 2020) – On Friday, March 27th, the Ron Clark Academy (RCA) held its first-ever virtual professional development day directly on the school’s Facebook page. Titled as “RCA EXP Online,” the Facebook Live broadcast amassed more than 110K views from educators around the world during its two-hour timeframe, with approximately 10.6K educators watching at one time.
In addition to being a nonprofit middle school, the Academy has simultaneously operated as a professional development facility during its 13 years in existence. Over 75,000 educators have visited the Academy to learn ways to engage students, promote academic rigor, and create a climate and culture for success. In response to the millions of teachers and schools across the world who have switched to online learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, cofounders Ron Clark and Kim Bearden saw a void that desperately needed to be filled. Bearden stated, “RCA has always sought to extend our reach beyond our school to impact students globally. During this difficult time, we want to support educators in their quest to be there for their students, despite the obstacles they face.”
After an opening welcome from Clark, viewers were also greeted with a special message from Bearden. Throughout the presentation, RCA staff members showcased various resources that are designed to assist educators in their efforts to administer high-quality online instruction to their respective students. The collection of learning platforms highlighted included Zoom, Gimkit, Manga High, Notability, Flipgrid, Learning by Questions, and Google Classroom. Also, educators learned how to create a virtual wheel so students could still “spin the wheel” to earn points for their house – an essential function of RCA’s house system culture which has been adopted by a multitude of educators.
In addition to demonstrations from educators, the broadcast also featured messages from RCA’s very own students who shared their perspectives to educators regarding how to support students emotionally and engage with students academically in an online space. To bring the segment to a close, Clark answered questions posed by viewers and even surprised them with a video snippet that offered a sneak peek into the school’s newest facility, the Ryan Marshall Performing Arts Center.
As the school continues along its journey of educating its own students during this period known as the “new normal,” Clark is eager to equip educators with more strategies in future broadcasts. He expressed, “The outpour of support and engagement we received by educators across the world during our first installment of RCA EXP Online was simply incredible. Knowing that there are even more digital resources we can expose educators to, we can’t wait to showcase more best practices to viewers during our second installment on Friday, April 17th.”
About the Ron Clark Academy
The Ron Clark Academy is a private, non-profit middle school and professional development facility in southeast Atlanta that promotes innovation and inspires its students and educators through energetic teaching balanced by a strict code of discipline. The Academy currently relies on outside funding to provide scholarships to students from varying academic and financial backgrounds. For more information, please visit https://ronclarkacademy.com.