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More Free Courses for Teachers - HP Catalyst Academy becomes the NMC Academy

Today marks a big milestone: In April of 2013, HP, the New Media Consortium, and the International Society for Technology in education, embarked on a great adventure to explore innovations in teacher “professional development” and professional recognition. After the successful design and pilot of the HP Catalyst Academy, the New Media Consortium is now taking the project to new heights.


Many thanks to the fantastic teams at both the NMC.org and ISTE.org who helped take the dream to reality – and many thanks to NMC for taking the dream to new heights!


Read their press release to learn more – and tell all the teachers you know that even MORE free mini-courses for teachers are coming online…










Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Global Education Program Manager
Corporate Affairs

Follow me on Twitter @jgvanides



********* from the NMC.org Press Release ************



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.

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About the Author
  • Jim Vanides is responsible for the vision, strategy, design, and implementation of education technology innovation initiatives. His focus is the effective use of technology to create powerful learning experiences that help students around the world succeed. He has been instrumental in launching over 1200 primary, secondary, and higher education projects in 41 countries, including the HP Catalyst Initiative - a 15-country network of 60+ education organizations exploring innovations in STEM(+) learning and teaching. In addition to his work at HP, Jim teaches an online course for Montana State University on the Science of Sound, a masters-level, conceptual physics course for teachers in grades 5 through 8. Jim’s past work at HP has included engineering design, engineering management, and program management in R&D, Manufacturing, and Business Development. He holds a BS in Engineering and a MA in Education, both from Stanford University.
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