NMC Launches Online Training Academy for Teachers

The New Media Consortium has been selected by HP to scale-up and assume leadership for the HP Catalyst Academy, which provides a fresh approach for accelerating professional learning among educators who teach science, technology, engineering, math and related 21st century skills. In this next phase, the HP Catalyst Academy is being renamed as the NMC Academy, with plans to expand the catalog of free online mini-courses for teachers around the world.

Launched in January 2013 as a collaboration between HP, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the NMC, and more than 30 universities and NGOs in 15 countries, the Academy provides a new approach to professional development. Thanks to HP’s leadership and funding in the pilot and incubation phases, it has grown into a global collection of free courses that are building and showcasing the future of web-based learning and new approaches to professional recognition through digital badges.

The rebranded NMC Academy launched publicly today, a not-for-profit hub for education-related professional development. The mission of the project from its inception has been to provide busy teachers and other learning professionals with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills online, to explore new ways of delivering online learning, and to generally push the boundaries of cutting-edge professional learning opportunities. HP has selected the NMC to lead the next phases of the project because of the NMC’s track record for creating sustainable models that advance innovation in education.

“The NMC is thrilled to assume leadership of the Academy and is tremendously thankful for HP’s partnership and support every step of the way,” said NMC CEO, Dr. Larry Johnson. “The forward-thinking legacy brought to the project by the founding partners will continuously inspire the NMC Academy to mature and evolve. The goal has always been to be experimental — to try new things that no one is doing yet in order to expand access to high-quality training for different types of audiences and to make student learning more engaging and relevant. “

“The HP Catalyst Academy’s aim all along has been to spark innovations in teaching and learning. We are proud of the role we’ve played in its development and are excited to support the NMC in scaling up the Academy to reach even more educators around the world”, said Jeannette Weisschuh, Director of Economic Progress Initiatives, HP Corporate Affairs.

The project features online courses from nearly three dozen leading universities, schools, and NGOs, including Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern University, the University of Southern California, Palermo University (Argentina), Polar Bears International, TakingITGlobal (Canada), the Agastya International Foundation (India), Apps for Good (UK), and Centro Superior para la Enseñanza Virtual (Spain), among many others. Each of the 36 mini-courses piloted over the past nine months has had an average enrollment of 100 STEM education professionals as students, and is a completely unique experiment in online learning. Over 3,500 teachers and faculty in more than 135 countries have enrolled so far, and 6,500 users have registered on the Academy website.

The current catalog of STEM mini-courses will be expanded in 2014 to incorporate a wide range of new disciplines and fields. As the first step in this expansion, a new mini course on using open educational resources will be launched in April, alongside the addition of a new collection of 22 HP LIFE e-Learning courses on entrepreneurship, in collaboration with HP. HP LIFE e-Learning is a free, online business and IT skills training program that shapes entrepreneurial thinking and action.

HP provided initial funding and support for the initiative; now the effort, rebranded under the NMC banner, will take that work to a new level. During the next phase of the project, the NMC is dedicated to continuing the tradition established with HP and ISTE, and to inventing the future of online learning through the NMC Academy.

For more information, visit academy.nmc.org.

Have questions? Contact communications@nmc.org.

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