NY certifies Teq’s online professional development

Home schooled: Huntington Station education-tech distributor Teq is now offering state-approved online continuing-ed courses for teachers.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

New York is turning to Teq to keep the state’s teachers up-to-speed on their professional development.

The Huntington Station-based education-tech distributor has been selected by the New York Department of Education to provide online Continuing Teacher and Leader Education courses required to maintain state teaching certifications.

Educators can now choose to attend on-site professional-development classes or complete Teq’s online courses. State statutes require teachers to complete 100 hours of continuing-ed classes every five years.

Robert-Wayne Harris: Convenience for the busy teacher.

Robert-Wayne Harris: Convenience for the busy teacher.

With in-person options limited to specific times and places, that can be a bear for professionals who already spend their evenings grading quizzes and preparing lessons. The online option, according to Teq Vice President Robert-Wayne Harris, is designed to help teachers fulfill their professional-development obligations without blowing up their daily routines.

“Teachers now have a convenient option to maintain their certification by taking our courses online, accommodating their busy schedules,” said Harris, a former superintendent of the Roosevelt School District in Nassau County.

Teq, which in late 2015 announced major upgrades to its Teq Online PD platform, offers educators unlimited access to over 200 live and archived professional-development sessions, with a heavy focus on integrating technology into K-12 classroom instruction. Different tracks certify teachers on various Google and Microsoft educational suites and in new instructional methods specific to social studies, English as a Second Language, project-based learning and STEM (for science, technology, engineering and math) courses.

The online certification courses all meet state CTLE requirements, which were spelled out in the state’s 2015 budget and took effect July 1 of this year.

The Department of Education’s CTLE blessing “validates the quality of the professional development,” noted Teq CEO Damian Scarfo, while simultaneously providing “a great benefit for our professional-development customers.”

“The Teq Online PD platform has an over 90 percent teacher-satisfaction rating across its various courses and presenters,” Scarfo said. “Teachers can find technology courses relevant to their subject area and grade level.”

With Teq Online PD already in play in several regional school districts – in a company statement, Valley Stream 30 Technology Director Patrick Fogarty called it “an innovative approach to PD that can educate and inspire” – New York becomes the latest state to approve Teq’s virtual certification courses. Teq’s platform is already approved to maintain teaching certification at school districts in Delaware, West Virginia and Montana, with deals pending in 11 other states, according to the company, including several district-by-district arrangements.

New York State’s approval of its professional-development platform is the latest Empire State trophy for Teq, which has announced a number of regional distribution deals over the past 18 months. Those deals, with Teq exclusively offering different companies’ technologies to regional educators, feature various domestic partners and international manufacturers.

The circa-1972 Long Island stalwart has also made a push into school security, launching the app Spot – an “all-in-one mass emergency communication platform” providing crisis-situation connectivity – in summer 2015.

While most of those exclusive distribution deals are open-ended, Teq’s status as a state-approved provider of professional-development certification has a finite lifespan: New York’s CTLE approval – which was made official Oct. 4 but extends retroactively to cover PD courses taken since July – runs through June 30, 2021.