What does membership include?
Opal School Online membership includes year-long access to content published on this site by Opal School teacher-researchers and guest authors. This content is reflective of our efforts to create and implement social-constructivist practice and will include original documentation from Opal School and other classrooms, reflections on practice, and new and ongoing research questions. Our intention in sharing this research (and editorial opinion!) is to inspire and provoke our readers to engage in and share their own research and experiences here in the company of other passionate educators and parents.
Membership also includes belonging to a growing community of other members, including all Opal School teachers, who are seeking collaboration, support, collegiality and connection. This self-selected and self-organizing group can engage in lively discussion about important ideas in this moderated space.
We’ll have special content organized into courses exclusively available to Opal School Online members – but which will require additional one time fees.
How do I connect with other members?
Members can connect with one another in several ways.
Forums: Members can start forum discussions, respond to discussions started by others, and subscribe to topics.
Groups: Members will have the options to participate in interest groups. These groups will include interests by age level as well as course participation. So, if you want to start a discussion with only those who are enrolled in a course with you, you’ll be able to do that. Forum topics can be started by members of groups. Like the general forum, group participants can subscribe to topics, start new ones, and organize favorites within their own profile settings.
Commenting: Like regular blogs, members can comment on posts to generate discussion specific to that topic.
Friends: Members can invite other members to be “friends”. This is a convenient way to search for activity posted by those friends and to “follow” people you are particularly interested in collaborating with. Members can also “tag” one another using @username in order to get the attention of others they hope will add to the discussion. Members have full control over who they are following at any time.
Messages: Members can send messages to one another directly – either privately or publicly. Messages will also be sent to the email on file.
Profiles: Keeping an up to date profile is a good way to invite others to play with you!
What should I know about Opal Online Courses?
Online courses will be a central component of Opal School Online as we develop this site more fully over the coming year. We plan to accredit the courses in order for participants to earn PDU’s and certified clock hours. We will be experimenting with a variety of formats and media and will look to our members for feedback in order to develop the most useful and responsive experience possible.
If you are not a member of Opal Online, and would like to register for a course, your first course fee will include a year of membership to Opal Online. This is because the opportunity in the collaborative support of membership is central to the mission of this site. Once you are a member of Opal Online, you will receive member pricing.
How do I renew my membership?
Membership will be automatically renewed on an annual basis and charged to the credit card we have on file.
What happened to your old blog -- the one we didn't have to pay for?
When we started opalschoolblog.typepad.com many years ago, it was our vision to someday create this membership based community. Based on years of feedback, we feel it is important to be able to offer a protected space for committed colleagues.
Membership fees make it possible for us to continue to achieve and expand our mission to provoke fresh ideas and open third doors. As a charter school, Opal receives only 60% of the public funds regular neighborhood schools receive. Our teachers are required to be as qualified as their public school counterparts, but with far less compensation. Amplifying the research and documentation that is integral to the work at Opal School requires robust staffing and infrastructure. Fees for consulting services, workshops, publications and Opal School Online make it possible for us to continue.
In order for the resource that is Opal School and the Center for Learning to be here, we need your support. And we are grateful for it.
What if I have suggestions?
Go ahead and use this contact form! [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
What about group memberships?
It is our intention to support the professionalism of educators by inviting the energy of each personal voice in order to exercise the confidence, creativity and intellectualism demanded of each one of us if we are to make collective change.
If your university class, school, or district would like to provide memberships for multiple members, please contact us for support.
What if I am not ready to become a member?
We hope you’ll join our mailing list to receive monthly updates about Opal School Online, and Center for Learning events. Join us for a workshop in Portland, Oregon, if you are able. Look for us at an event closer to you, or create an event and invite us to come!
During the 16 years we’ve been developing Opal School as a resource, we have found that participants in our workshops and readers of our blog have longed for the support of colleagues in order to push back against the feelings of isolation that are so common in our field. Membership offers a space for collaboration and support and, we hope, a real sense of belonging to something powerful and important. We hope you’ll join us!
What if I no longer wish to be a member?
Just let us know! We’ll be sure that your membership does not auto-renew.