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Moving your Education Programs Online

Virtual learning is here to stay. You may be wondering what to do with the educational programs that your organization has spent decades developing; programs that were meant to take place in live classrooms.

Here are 10 tips for adapting your in-person educational programs to an online format for little to no cost.

1. Focus on core objectives

Decide which core learning objectives are most important, which may be fewer than you originally planned. You’ll be more successful by taking the “less is more” approach.

2. Set up your virtual gathering space

Create one digital space where program staff, teachers, and students can share resources and collaborate. Use a cloud-based system like Google Drive or Dropbox, or a more sophisticated learning management system (LMS) like Canvas.

3. Don't forget about parents

In the past, your educational program staff, teaching artists, and docents may have delivered programs directly to classrooms and students. Moving ahead, adjust your marketing strategies to appeal to parents so students can benefit even if they are learning from home.

4. Post curriculum online

Post some of your existing curriculum on your website for teachers and parents to access from anywhere. Organize it by subject matter and grade level to make it easy to navigate. Consider only posting select lessons and activities and offer others as “upsell” items. Check out how we helped Great Lakes Theater organize their curriculum online.

5. Be a curator

Feeling overwhelmed by the digital noise? So are teachers and parents. Use your discerning eye to curate a list of activities, resources, videos, podcasts, or other educational online media that is on brand and tailored specifically for your audiences.

6. Customize content

Teachers are constantly reinventing and reworking their lessons. If you have experience with curriculum design, offer to help. This may be an opportunity to add new lessons and activities to your permanent catalog, too.

7. Leverage existing communications channels

Don’t forget to tell people about your new digital programming, but don’t reinvent the wheel. How do teachers and parents get their information currently? Where do they look for new ideas, programs, and activities? Talk to your marketing team about the best digital channels for reaching your intended audience. Check out how we helped Oberlin Center for the Arts do just this.

8. Call your grants managers

Be proactive about updating your funders on major changes to your program or delivery methods. Emphasize the ways in which you adapted to meet your community’s changing needs. This will assure funders that you will continue to be good stewards of their support, and strengthen your long-term relationships.

9. Pay attention to metrics

Digital channels allow you to easily track traffic and engagement. Get access to your website's Google Analytics and monitor traffic regularly. Pay attention to how your content is performing on social media and email by using Google URL builder. This data will enable you to track the efficacy of your programming and make adjustments as needed.

10. Adopt a learning mindset

This is the time to flex your skills, learn new ways to deliver content effectively and adjust as you go. Stay in touch with colleagues to learn from their experiences. Be comfortable changing direction if something isn’t working. You got this!

Contact us if you need help developing a marketing strategy for your educational programs.

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