Educators share how Teacher Training Pathways helps meet challenges of hybrid learning
In support of educators nationwide, Verizon Innovative Learning deepens investment in credentialed technology professional development
As schools across the nation continue engaging students via hybrid learning models, Verizon Innovative Learning has expanded its digital learning resources to support more educators than ever before. The program is a key part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. That includes increased investment in its already robust professional development offerings. It’s a thoughtful move — 92% of teachers at Verizon Innovative Learning partner schools say that the tech-focused professional development they received via the program helped make teaching remotely easier.
One of the initiatives that smoothed that journey is the Teacher Training Pathways. Created in concert with nonprofit partner Digital Promise, the free program centers on digital skills, digital coaching and remote learning for all interested K-12 educators nationwide. Based online, it allows them to earn micro-credentials from home even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit in-person professional development opportunities. The courses are tailored to the unique challenges of the day, with recent additions that focus on best practices for student-centered hybrid learning and creating inclusive and accessible learning experiences.
We brought together three former classroom teachers who are now Verizon Innovative Learning coaches to chat about how Teacher Training Pathways helps them meet the challenges of remote learning.
“Teacher Training Pathways from Verizon Innovative Learning is where I started my Verizon Innovative Learning journey. I was really nervous about being out of the classroom,” says RoseMarie McCandless, coach at Grace James Academy of Excellence, a brand-new Afro-centric, gender-centric, student-centered STEAM school in Louisville, Kentucky. “Once I got into the Teacher Training Pathways and started working through the things that I needed to do for the day-to-day parts of my role, I felt a lot more confident.”
Trish Croaker, coach at Mansfeld Magnet Middle School in Tucson, Arizona, found that the bite-size nature of the courses allowed her to tackle specific skills precisely as the need arose. The former engineering teacher has completed all the available learning modules, webinars and sequenced courses. “They’ve been timed very well to a skill that I need to practice,” she says. “The fact that I could earn a badge made me really excited!”
Neelsville Middle School coach Tameka Cooper says the camaraderie shared among educators in the community is an added bonus. “I love the collaboration and networking. That’s also there, that community of people who are also in the trenches with you,” explains the Germantown, Maryland-based former science teacher. Cooper has also earned all the micro-credentials, and she’s among the 88% of coaches who say that the lessons learned during their time with Verizon Innovative Learning helped them support teachers as they shifted to remote learning. “The time and effort that they put into creating those resources are awesome,” she says.