Professional Development

U Phoenix and Blackboard Host Virtual Teaching Academy

An online university and an education technology company have teamed up to create a free virtual teaching academy focused on the changes wrought in K-12 education. The Virtual Teaching Academy, an initiative by the University of Phoenix and Blackboard, is intended to help educators develop a blueprint for teaching in the next school year.

The program will kick off with two online, interactive sessions, one on May 20, covering the shift to virtual teaching and learning; and another on Jun. 17, to provide guidance on how to shift between virtual and in-person learning.

The actual academy will run between Jun. 26 and Jul. 1. That's a six-day workshop with breakouts that will cover topics such as student and parent engagement, assessment of student learning, equity and disparity and student social and emotional needs. The university will grant free continuing education credits for the time spent attending the academy.

Participating experts include Pat Hoge, a specialist in the field of distance learning; author Tom Vander Ark; and former district superintendent Heath Morrison, who now heads up McGraw-Hill School Group.

"Teaching outside of the classroom requires different skills, capabilities and mindset than a traditional learning environment," said University of Phoenix Provost, John Woods, in a statement. "With more than 30 years of experience delivering successful online education, we feel a deep responsibility and sense of urgency to share our knowledge in virtual teaching to help the K-12 education community succeed in today's new normal of remote learning."

Registration for the events is open on the Blackboard website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.