Visiting International Faculty (VIF), an organization offering cultural exchange programs for K-12 educators, has acquired Participate Learning, an online platform for teacher resources.
VIF currently has 20,000 teachers (nearly 1,000 of whom are visiting international scholars from over 30 countries around the world) on its platform. Both companies join forces to offer unique collaborative opportunities for teachers in the U.S. and to help them expand their professional horizons.
The financial terms were not disclosed.
Participate Learning is a search engine tool that allows teachers to find and share numerous useful resources such as websites, video tutorials, apps, games, and more. The platform also offers an internal chat feature attached to a Twitter chat calendar which allows educators to exchange ideas on topics that appeal to them. There is also an option to save chat history and transcription.
Starting in fall 2016, the deal would allow VIF to expand further its professional development programs via the latest technologies powered by Participate Learning's platform, writes Corinne Lestch of EdScoop.
VIF International CEO David Young tells EdSurge's Mary Jo Madda that he and his team aim to transform the organization "into a full-blown edtech company," where VIF provides teachers all the necessary tools they need to do their job properly:
"We needed to train our teachers and provide them with resources to be successful. Participate Learning is a leading edtech company that will help us deliver flexible, cost-effective tools and resources to educators who make a lasting impact on students in classrooms around the world."
In turn, Alan Warms, founder and CEO of Participate Learning, commented:
"VIF's leadership in global collaboration and online professional development is a natural fit for the Participate Learning platform. We are excited to partner with VIF to further develop global-ready teachers and students."
VIF was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC. Its initial primary goal was to help universities recruit international scholars and faculty members, but it has turned into a global education partner of K-12 schools and districts after attracting visiting teachers from overseas to the U.S.
For more than two decades, VIF International Education has worked closely with U.S. schools to prepare global-oriented academics and students. Thousands of teachers have taken advantage of the VIF's professional development curriculum, language acquisition, and cultural exchange programs to create innovative learning environments that combine technology, cultural literacy, and other soft skills into classrooms.
In the 1990's the organization rebranded, and it focused on the professional development of the educators as well as on their global and cultural awareness. VIF is a certified B Corp company and is a âBest for the World' honoree.
Participate Learning is a leading resource discovery platform for teachers that offers a rich collection of research tools for hundreds of educator-oriented Twitter chats around the globe. Participate Learning provides a powerful search tool for thousands of highly-specialized and standards-aligned digital resources, and it also provides curation and collaboration services around those resources.