Empowering online educators
During these challenging times, we are all reminded of how vitally important, and sadly precarious, access to quality education is for children around the world. Now more than ever creative problem-solving and innovative solutions are needed to ensure meaningful learning can continue despite enduring barriers or unforeseen crises. This is why VIPKid and VIPTeach are partnering to empower online educators to overcome obstacles that stand between children and their education.
Since the early days of our inception, it has been VIPKid’s priority to use novel approaches to increase access to quality education and give back to the communities we serve. VIPKid’s platform technology has broken down barriers to education and created new learning opportunities for hundreds of thousands of children. This has transformed tutoring and extracurricular learning as we know it by removing location restraints, saving time, and creating a new level of access to quality teachers, which allows for more equity in education.
A shining example of VIPKid’s commitment to educational equity is the Rural Education Project (REP). Stemming from VIPKid Founder and CEO Cindy Mi’s core belief that “every child deserves a global classroom that is accessible, affordable, and personalized,” REP was launched in 2017. REP is a philanthropic initiative that leverages technology and VIPKid’s teacher community to bring free, high-quality English instruction to rural schools in China that would not otherwise have access. With the support of hundreds of expert VIPKid teachers, the program has reached more than 1,000 schools and 50,000 children throughout the country in three short years. This project provides invaluable educational opportunities to students and teachers, and we believe this model has incredible potential to make an even greater impact.
“It is such a privilege to get to grow and learn with these incredible students each week! What an honor to help guide them as they learn English!” – REP Teacher Jilian
“The teacher was very patient and friendly. She did a lot of interactive games with the students. When students were confused by the English words or phrases she said, she used a translator to help them understand. We all love her and really want to say thank you to VIPKID. The platform is really useful in bringing excellent teaching resources to rural schools.” —Miss Lu, teacher from Center Primary School Chao Hua County, Xin Mi, Henan
The potential is evident in the overwhelming response to REP, both on the part of schools wanting this educational opportunity for their students as well as on the part of VIPKid teachers wishing to deepen their practice and connections with classrooms across the world. This inspired VIPKid to seed fund and incubate VIPTeach, a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to empowering educators with technology and professional learning to drive equity and innovation in education. VIPTeach partners with VIPKid REP in order to maximize the potential of this project to increase access to quality education.
We are honored to share that this innovative partnership to expand the impact of REP was recently recognized by Fast Company with an honorable mention as a 2020 World Changing Idea in Education! We couldn’t agree more with the editors’ belief in the power of this idea to change to the world.
We are excited to announce a new program intended to build upon the accomplishments of REP to create an even greater impact for the heroes of this story: educators.
Beginning this fall, VIPTeach will launch the Global Online Teaching Fellowship, a first-of-its-kind virtual service and professional development program for future leaders in education. The Fellowship seeks to empower online education pioneers with global teaching and learning experiences that will help them grow as professionals as they make a difference in the lives of the students and classroom teachers they serve.
The VIPKid REP-VIPTeach partnership will provide online instructional experience to the VIPTeach Global Online Teaching Fellows, who will deliver live virtual English language lessons to rural students throughout China who would not otherwise have access. The vision of the Fellowship is to give educators tools, opportunities, and support to bridge opportunity gaps and cultural and language barriers on behalf of underserved students around the world in the years to come.
VIPTeach is based on the belief that tech-savvy and culturally competent leaders throughout the education sector – from classroom teachers to online educators to school administrators to education technologists to policy experts – have a vital role to play in providing all students with the quality education they need to succeed. The organization is dedicated to empowering these leaders to shape the future of teaching and learning. We know it will take all kinds of leaders to meet the challenges of the day and develop solutions to overcome any obstacle that stands between children and their education. And we are optimistic about the limitless potential of world-changing ideas in education that will continue to grow and evolve.
For more information about the Fellowship and ways to support VIPTeach’s mission, please visit VIPTeach.org, where you can sign up for newsletter updates.
Editor’s Note, December 2020: Since the original publish date of this post in April 2020, the inaugural cohort of Fellows have completed their first semester with VIPTeach. You can read more about VIPTeach’s Global Online Teaching Fellows here.
Related Article: VIPTeach to Build Support for Programs to Empower Educators