CASEL Collaborating Districts Online Learning Community Introduction

CASEL Collaborating Districts Online Learning Community Introduction & FAQ

CASEL Collaborating Districts Learning Community Introduction & FAQ

Welcome to the CASEL Collaborating Districts Online Learning Community. This community is a digital space for SEL leads from CASEL’s CDI districts, CDI consultants, and CASEL staff to share ideas, share resources, and ultimately learn from each other. As a member of this community we welcome you to share your accomplishments. Members are encouraged to comment on each other’s posts and offer insight from their own experiences. This type of collaboration and problem solving can make this space a true SEL learning community.

Please watch the brief introductory video below to orient yourself to the community and learn how to share and interact with other members. Below the video you will also find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the CASEL Collaborating Districts Google Community?

CASEL Collaborating Districts Google Community is a Professional Learning Community that is available to all District SEL leads, CASEL CDI Consultants, and some CASEL staff as a space for discussion, collaboration, and sharing of resources. CASEL created this structure using existing technology via Google+.

Who has access to this Community?

This is a private Community available only to those invited by or granted access by CASEL, including:

  • SEL leads from CDI districts
  • CASEL CDI consultants
  • CASEL staff involved with the CDI

Can this information (or my discussions with people in other districts) be searched and viewed by anyone on the internet?

No. Only members of the Community can access the content of the Community including discussion, resources, videos, etc.

How do I join the community?

Google account users must make sure that they have enabled Google+, search for “CASEL Collaborating Districts Learning Community” under Communities in Google+, and ask to join.
Here is one-page tutorial (downloadable PDF) that demonstrates how to join:

In addition to the instruction in the one-page tutorial, if you do not have a Google account, you can register for one (free of charge) here:
To sign-up for Google+ go here:

What kind of information can I share on the community?

You can share text in the same way that you might post a statement or question on social media.

  • You can post links to websites that might be of interest. You can also link to any file that you have stored in Google Drive.
  • You can post a YouTube video, upload a video, or record a video.
  • You can upload photos from your computer or from your Google+ photos.
  • You can post an event.

How do I upload a Word document, PDF, PowerPoint slide show, or Excel document?

To post one of these types of documents (or any document), you will need to upload the document to Google Drive and then post a “share link” to the document in the community. Make sure that the settings for sharing are set at the minimum of “Share with anyone with a link.” For more information on how to post, please watch the introductory video segment on “How to post,” which is approximately 6 min. 22 sec. into the video (the video can be found at the top of this page or at the following link:

How do I search for content within the Community?

You can search in a Community in the same way you search using Google on the web: Just put the keyword or term that you’d like to search for in the “Search community” box on the left side of the Community. You may search using keywords related to content, people, or any word mentioned in the text of a post. For example, “Marcus Garvey,” “Roger Weissberg,” or “MNPS.”

What are Categories?

Categories are a way to classify content. For each post you are able to select one Category to delineate the type of content involved. Categories currently include: Shared Resources, District Announcements, CASEL announcements, Questions for the Community, Tutorials & How-To’s, Community Procedures, and Issues. To view all posts pertaining to a particular category, click the category on the left side and posts belonging to that category will be displayed.

How are hashtags used?

We have created a hashtag for each district to further simply searching by district. For example, by searching for “OUSD,” you will see posts about the Oakland Unified School Districts. The hashtags are:
Anchorage = #ASD; Austin = #AISD; Chicago = #CPS; Cleveland = #CMSD; Metro Nashville = #MNPS; Oakland = #OUSD; Sacramento City = #SCUSD; Washoe County = #WCSD

How do notifications in communities work?

Community members can use notifications to know when new items are shared with their communities. If notifications are toggled on you’ll get a notification by email, on your device, and on the Google toolbar when someone posts something new. You can toggle your community notifications on or off by clicking on the bell icon on a community’s page. You can adjust the frequency of community notifications by clicking on the gear icon on a community’s page and choosing between Standard, More, or Fewer.

Why are we using Google Communities for our PLC?

CASEL hopes to capitalize on the shared vision of the participants to promote growth and learning through a shared responsibility to inform practice.
Google offers Communities as a means for people with a like interest to share information. Community participants can post content that they think will be of interest to others in the community as well as look for advice or feedback on questions regarding the topic of the community. Since Google Communities are rather easy to set up and free, and most of the constituents involved already have a Google account, it seemed like a good fit.

Who should I contact if I need help?

Please contact Mary Serbe for questions about the CASEL Collaborating Districts Learning Community.