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University Of Phoenix And Blackboard To Host Free Five-Day Virtual Teaching Academy For K-12 Educators On Techniques For Effective Online Instruction This Fall
Attendees will create a personalized blueprint for virtual learning to guide plans for the next academic year

PHOENIX, AZ and RESTON, VA –  June 23, 2020 – As schools across the country assess how or if they will be able to open in the fall, the Alliance for Virtual Learning – a coalition of online learning experts spearheaded by University of Phoenix and Blackboard –  will host a free Virtual Teaching Academy, June 26 through July 1, 2020 to help educators prepare for success in the upcoming school year. K-12 teachers and school administrators will be given access to expert insights and resources to help build a customized blueprint for virtual learning at their schools and districts this fall.

“COVID-19 forced K-12 teachers to pivot almost overnight to online learning, and in many cases without support or clear guidance to keep all students engaged and maintain learning continuity,” said University of Phoenix Provost John Woods. “As the need for a longer-term approach in the K-12 space became apparent, we knew that we wanted to give back in a way that leverages our extensive expertise, and Blackboard’s, in online teaching and learning. Together we formed the Alliance for Virtual Learning and Virtual Teaching Academy to support K-12 teachers and administrators during this crucial summer planning period to ensure success for the fall.”

The Virtual Teaching Academy will consist of ten separate webinar sessions with topics ranging from best practices when teaching and learning move home, to providing equitable access to instruction and resources for all students, to serving the needs of special education, gifted and English language learners in a virtual environment, among others. The sessions will be led by education experts from various fields, including:

  • Chandre Sanchez Reyes, Executive Director, Indiana Connections Academy
  • Michele Eaton, Director of Virtual and Blended Learning, MSD of Wayne Township, IN
  • Kelly Herman, VP of Accessibility Equity & Inclusion, University of Phoenix
  • Tracy Broccolino, Director of Early Childhood Education at Community Action Council of Howard County

“We are thrilled to convene some of the most innovative education practitioners in partnership with University of Phoenix to support districts and schools as they move beyond a stop-gap approach to remote teaching and evolve their virtual and hybrid learning strategies for the fall and beyond,” said Kathy Vieira, Chief Strategy, Portfolio & Marketing Officer at Blackboard. “Our hope is that the Virtual Teaching Academy will offer educators and administrators the tools they need to collectively redefine what effective teaching and learning looks like in the post-COVID era.”

Participants will walk away with the insights necessary to build a blueprint to ensure their schools provide effective instruction as they navigate the inevitable challenges of virtual and hybrid learning in the fall. Additionally, teachers can earn free continuing education and professional development hours, granted by the University of Phoenix College of Education.

The Alliance for Virtual Learning is spearheaded by the University of Phoenix and Blackboard, with the goal of convening a community of educators, experts, students and families to develop new models of hybrid education that shift between virtual and in-classroom learning. Through meaningful conversations, trainings and resources, the Alliance provides adaptable tools that empower educators to set a new course for how we teach and how we learn.

To attend the Virtual Teaching Academy, register at

About Blackboard®
Blackboard's mission is to advance learning in partnership with the world's education community so that more students, educators and institutions can realize their goals today and prepare for tomorrow. Learn more at and follow @Blackboard on Twitter.

Contact: Hillary Marder, Senior Public Relations Manager,

About University of Phoenix®
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses and interactive learning help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. We serve a diverse student population, offering degree programs at select locations across the U.S. as well as online. For more information, visit

Contact: Andrea Smiley, Vice President of Public Relations at University of Phoenix,

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