National assessment company ACT will provide teaching and learning lessons, resources and content to a platform on the American Federation of Teachers’ website where teachers collaborate and share lesson plans, and other learning resources, for free, the organizations announced on Tuesday.
The partnership, to involve sharing of ACT content on AFT’s Share My Lesson platform, will support teachers as they face increased demands to provide distance learning amid school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an AFT spokesperson. Education companies will also be permitted to share resources on the platform.
Teachers are “hungry” to learn more about how they can provide sound distance learning and social-emotional education, the spokesperson said.
The ACT will provide support to AFT members through webinars, blog posts, and its free college planning system known as myOptions. In addition, ACT will provide access to the American College Application Campaign, which yearly helps almost 700,000 high school seniors navigate the college admissions process and its Center for Equity in Learning, which aims to close gaps in equity for underserved populations and working learners.
Education companies can add as many resources to Share My Lesson as they want, the AFT spokesperson said. Some vendor partners provide as few as five or six resources, while others provide hundreds of thousands.
There’s no cost to partner. The AFT wants to work with organizations that share its mission and have free content to disseminate to educators. AFT provides member feedback to its partners in the form of comments, ratings, and analytics pertaining to the resources that partners provide to the site. To learn more about how to become a Share My Lesson partner, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFT currently has over 1.6 million members on Share My Lesson.
“ACT’s and AFT’s missions are closely aligned, with both organizations committed to helping students achieve success,” ACT CEO Marten Roorda said in a statement. “We each bring unique strengths to this partnership, and by working together, we know we can better help educators teach and students learn during this difficult time and beyond.”
ACT and AFT will jointly host a webinar at 1 p.m. ET on Friday titled “How Parents Can Help Stem a COVID-19 Learning Slide.”
A social-emotional learning expert from ACT’s Mawi Learning will demonstrate helpful tools for teachers, school counselors, parents, and students for remote learning. The webinar will be geared toward helping parents support student use of these tools in academic and personal areas, and adopt a “growth mindset” for future success, according to a press release.
“We are glad to be working with ACT, and while these platforms never substitute for in-person learning, they offer teachers yet another option for meeting their students’ needs and creating a space for academic, social and emotional learning,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement.