RUSSELLVILLE — Arkansas Tech University has received a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education to offer an online teaching academy.
The $215,868 grant for the 2021-22 academic year will allow ATU to provide 15 hours of graduate course credit to 25 public school teachers seeking to improve their skills in delivering online curriculum. Renewal of the grant for 2022-23 is a possibility.
Due to scholarship funding provided by the Arkansas Department of Education grant, program participants will have the opportunity to earn all 15 hours of graduate course credit available through the ATU Online Teaching Academy at no cost.
“Our experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic have reinforced that distance learning is an effective method for delivering lessons to learners of all ages across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines,” said Dr. Linda Bean, dean of the ATU College of Education. “We are pleased to partner with the Arkansas Department of Education and work together to increase the quality of online teaching and learning in our state.”
Dr. Rebecca Callaway, professor of curriculum and instruction in the ATU College of Education, will serve as program director for the ATU Online Teaching Academy.
Callaway will be joined on the academy faculty by ATU College of Education colleagues Dr. Theresa Cullen, professor of curriculum and instruction and head of the ATU Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, associate professor of curriculum and instruction.
“As teacher technology educators, we believe we have the responsibility to not only prepare our students for the technology needs of today’s classroom but also prepare and inspire them for the adjacent possible,” wrote the ATU Online Teaching Academy faculty in its program proposal. “The Arkansas Tech Online Teaching Academy is therefore predicated on the idea of the adjacent possible. In addition to traditional communication modes, we will also be using a virtual reality environment.”
Individuals who complete the ATU Online Teaching Academy will earn a certificate in online teaching and will be eligible to stack their earned hours toward the ATU Master of Education degrees in instructional technology and library media.
Curriculum design and evaluation, advanced curriculum design for online learning, online course development, instructional technology and emerging technologies for education and training are among the topics that will be covered during the ATU Online Teaching Academy.
Classes will be taught online and will include a series of synchronous virtual Saturdays designed to bring the cohort together for discussion and group learning.
The 2021-22 ATU Online Teaching Academy is scheduled to begin July 12-23 with a virtual boot camp.
More information about the ATU Online Teaching Academy and the program application is available at www.atu.edu/education/onlineteachingacademy.php.