Teaching Channel Launches First-of-its-Kind Social and Video-Enabled Professional Development Platform

June 24, 2013


"Teaching Channel Teams" will allow teachers and teacher leaders to collaborate on improving practice and preparing for Common Core


SAN FRANCISCO -- Teaching Channel, which has created the nation's largest free library of professionally produced videos from inside real classrooms featuring teacher best practices, launched a new product today at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Annual Conference. This new product -- Teaching Channel Teams – has the potential to transform professional development in this time of diminishing education resources.

Teaching Channel is building on its online library of more than 700 videos with the creation of Teaching Channel Teams, an innovative professional development platform for schools, districts and states where teachers and teacher leaders can work together to improve learning outcomes and increase student achievement.

Teaching Channel's award-winning website has already built a community of more than 260,000 educators and includes more than 170 videos aligned to the Common Core State Standards. But teachers have made it clear they want a safe place to collaborate with their colleagues, be mentored and conduct job-embedded, relevant professional learning. Teaching Channel Teams enables schools, districts and other education organizations to do just that -- more cost-effectively than traditional professional development activities. With Teaching Channel Teams, collaboration within a school, across a district or with a larger network of educators, is made easier using socially-enabled tools within a platform that makes it simple for educators to use and share video as well as other types of professional development resources.

Teaching Channel's free website is already helping teachers across the country. In a recent survey completed by Teaching Channel, 70% of educators said they had tried a new technique in their classrooms using an idea found on Teaching Channel. Of those, 87% reported that the technique they tried increased student understanding.

The Teams platform is new, but the power of this collaborative platform is already being seen in facilitating meaningful coaching and professional learning in Chicago Public Schools with the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). AUSL is using Teams to create a "connective tissue" across the district where teachers are sharing videos of their practice and lesson plans and getting the customized coaching and mentoring they need in a safe and collaborative environment.

"Teaching Channel is AUSL's strategic partner in developing and pushing teacher development in the 21st century," said Brian Sims, managing director at AUSL. "It brings a level of interactivity to the professional development experience that we haven't seen anywhere else."

Teaching Channel Teams is ideal for building teacher capacity for the Common Core State Standards. In fact, 87% of those surveyed by Teaching Channel say they have used Teaching Channel videos to gain further understanding of the Common Core State Standards, with 95% reporting the videos were helpful in creating a deep understanding of the instructional shifts in Common Core.

"As a life-long educator, I know how hard the education sector has worked to create meaningful professional development that meets the needs of teachers and districts," said Pat Wasley, CEO of Teaching Channel. “Teaching Channel Teams allows districts to customize video for Common Core alignment and enables teachers to work across the school or district to find teachers struggling with similar challenges and to learn from one another as well as from our high-quality library of videos, which is being continually updated."

For years, the education community has been struggling with the idea of relevant professional development. It can be expensive -- requiring travel costs and significant time away from the classroom -- with limited evidence based results. District leaders and teachers alike are saying Teams is a real game-changer because of the cost efficiency it brings to professional development. Recently, the state of Utah purchased Teams for all 25,000 educators across the state.

"The Teaching Channel Teams platform enables us to support teachers across our state in an equitable way with access to high-quality professional development assets, efficiently and cost-effectively, helping us to build a learning community connecting teachers in urban and rural districts," said Dr. Laura Hunter, Director of Instructional Services, Utah Education Network.

Educate Texas, a public-private partnership working across diverse districts in Texas, will use Teaching Channel Teams to support its coaches and educators in high schools focusing on its college-ready and STEM initiatives, using video-enabled collaboration and coaching to connect educators across the state.

“At Educate Texas, we are excited about the potential of Teaching Channel Teams to empower teachers to problem solve for classroom challenges across districts, share best practice and to mentor their peers. Teams is allowing us to give teachers the job-embedded, individualized support they need to significantly improve student outcomes,” said John Fitzpatrick, executive director, Educate Texas.

Districts and educational organizations are using Teaching Channel Teams to share their own featured videos with the goal of creating, sharing and replicating best practices within their own community. The intuitive technology requires little to no training enabling easy video capture and sharing from any iPad or iPhone within the Teaching Channel Teams environment. The socially-connected, cloud-based nature of Teams enables educators to engage in professional learning from any device, anytime, anywhere.

Teaching Channel is partnering with teachers and leaders across a number of education reform organizations committed to giving teachers the tools they need to do their best work. For more information about Teaching Channel Teams visit www.teachingchannel.org/Teams.

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About Teaching Channel (Tch)
Teaching Channel revolutionizes how teachers learn, connect and inspire each other and their communities to improve instruction and student outcomes in America's K–12 classrooms. A nonprofit organization, Tch engages teachers across the country to reinvent and revolutionize professional learning through video content and online innovation. For more information, visit Tch on the web at TeachingChannel.org, and on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

CONTACT: Libby May
Phone: 301-656-0348
Cell: 301-529-7313