NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- COVID-19 has upended how teachers teach and how their students learn. The pandemic highlights gaps in skill readiness and inequities in access to quality resources. The work of the National Standards for Quality (NSQ) Online Learning is more relevant than ever for K-12 educators, especially those that may be new to teaching students in a blended setting or completely online. We must provide teachers the support they need to be effective online teachers if we are to close the learning gap and keep students on track to succeed.
Today, Quality Matters (QM), Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA), and 2gnoMe, formally announce the launch of the NSQ Online Teaching Professional Learning Portal powered by 2gnoMe for teachers and education leaders. This powerful new portal is built around the NSQ Online Teaching standards — a framework for schools, districts and state agencies to support online instruction. This professional learning portal "unpacks" the standards for educators and uses a teacher's own reflections to match high-quality and aligned learning resources to individual needs and strengths. This approach puts teachers on a path towards improving their practice as instructors, both in blended and online formats.
As Rich Copeland, Supervisor of Teacher Quality for Georgia Virtual, explained, "This professional learning portal provides teachers with the professional development they need when they need it, especially now in the midst of this pandemic."
The National Standards for Quality Online Teaching were developed by experts from the online learning community — headed by QM and the VLLA — and supported by research and best practice. The standards have been downloaded more than 10,000 times. By combining expertise and technology, QM, the VLLA and 2gnoMe aim to scale access to personalized and high-quality professional learning resources for teachers aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching. This approach puts teachers in the middle of their professional learning, using reflection to enhance self-awareness ('to know me'), and then applies data to tether all relevant professional development resources to provide teachers with ongoing competency-based learning experiences.
Bob Currie, Executive Director for Montana Digital Academy and VLLA President, commented, "This partnership puts into practice the amazing work and commitment of the VLLA, QM and the community of contributors who updated the online teaching standards by putting high-quality professional learning opportunities at teachers' fingertips so they can rise to the challenge of online instruction."
The 2gnoMe technology makes it easy to offer a level of professional learning to teachers at scale that is more tailored to their needs and offered when they need it. Further, the portal enables system leaders to customize all elements of their teachers' professional learning experience (e.g., mentoring, professional learning communities, and other supports) around each teacher.
Ken Dirkin, Executive Director of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI), stated, "This portal facilitates a coordinated system of support for our teachers. It will allow education leaders to crowd-source high-quality professional development around standards of effective online instruction. No longer will teachers or education leaders have to scramble to find good professional development aligned to their needs and priorities."
Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process. A member-based non-profit organization, QM is one of the largest providers of assessed professional development for online faculty.
The Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) is an association that brings together leaders from innovative online programs in the U.S. to strengthen virtual education. Consisting largely of leading state virtual schools, and several outstanding consortia, the member organizations serve well over a half a million online course enrollments annually using highly-qualified teachers trained in online instruction, supply blended learning and other professional learning services, and conduct research to validate and improve the effectiveness of online learning. The Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) is a 501c3 educational nonprofit organization that includes: Colorado Digital Learning Solutions, Georgia Virtual School, Idaho Digital Learning Alliance, Illinois Virtual School, Indiana Online, Michigan Virtual, Montana Digital Academy, Nevada Learning Academy, NC Virtual, Virtual Arkansas, VHS Learning, Virtual SC, Virtual Virginia, Wisconsin eSchool Network, and Wisconsin Virtual School.
2gnoMe is a cloud technology platform that supports teachers with personalized professional learning. Our award-winning approach enhances individual skills awareness, clarifies who needs what kind of learning in the first place, and makes it easy to create a competency-based continuous learning experience for every teacher – at scale. For education leaders, the platform informs the impact of the professional learning activity on the teaching practice and student outcomes. To learn more, visit https://2gno.me.