Teaching is one of those occupations that requires a lot of upgrading. As a kid, I always suspected teachers busted out the wine during those professional development days and sat around the smoky staff room swapping stories about their nastiest student experiences. I have quite a few teacher friends and I was surprised to find out that this is partly true, except for the wine (this isn’t the 80’s anymore), and the professional development classes that teachers attend.

Also, just because your kids are staying home during COVID-19 doesn’t mean the upgrading stops. It just goes online.

Now business-cloud company Vonage (VG.Q) is offering free services during COVID-19 to educational professional development and support tool provider, InsightADVANCE. This gives Insight ADVANCE free access to the ADVANCEfeedback video coaching tool, through the Vonage Video API.

“Teachers were never trained for the situation they are in as the result of COVID-19-related school shutdowns—but they’re rising to the occasion in amazing ways. While keeping student learning going is top priority, we can’t forget that professional learning and instructional coaching is desperately needed, too,” said Don Rescigno, CEO of InsightADVANCE.

InsightADVANCE products connect self-reflection, virtual instructional coaching and peer collaboration, and observation in one secure place to support teachers growth and professional development. Advancefeedback helps teachers, instructional coaches and teachers at all levels connect virtually by using video for self-reflection, peer feedback and instructional coaching. It’s powered by the Vonage Video API, and features both asynchronous and synchronous video through ADVANCElive, allowing for real time meetings and training.

“We lose teachers often in education within the first two to three years because they feel unsupported and they don’t feel competent in the role. To provide a video tool that allows a teacher to self-check, self-audit and improve is going to help those teachers feel more confident more quickly, and it’s going to keep good teachers in the classroom,” said Paul Freeman, superintendent for Guilford public schools, in Connecticut.

It’s more than just ZOOM for teachers in that it helps districts, schools and high education institutions increase coaching frequency, while saving time and money and drive educator growth in one platform. It’s presently being used in U.S. Department of Education projects as well as by several state departments of education, school districts and higher education institutions.

Vonage’s API is also entirely customizable, allowing academic institutions to create custom solutions and deliver flexible learning experiences in real time. In response to demands placed as a reaction to COVID-19, Vonage has also released several other free solutions for educators that don’t presently have the ability to operate in remote environments, including a standalone video solution that educators can use as an online learning environment.

It’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that video telecommunications companies are one of the clear winners of this COVID-19 era, and Vonage has been providing video solutions since 2012. Their Video API allows any organization to embed secure and scalable video into any software or service that requires it. Over the past three months, the video API has enjoyed considerable growth, especially in terms of the telehealth, social and education industries, and Vonage has processed more than 1 billion video API minutes since New Years Day, which is a significant increase over previous quarters.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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