UPenn Graduate School of Education’s Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) Program
Penn GSE Virtual Online Teaching (VOLT) Certificate Program is designed for educational instructors teaching K-12 or higher level. It aims to inculcate and enhance the 21st-century skills that are the fast-becoming imperative for one's overall development.
We offers two course variants:
Highlights
The participants will learn to put theory into practice and harness the use of technology to create a positive learning environment.
Certification from an Ivy League University
Face-to-face workshops
Online interactive classes
Lifetime access to program supports
Course Curriculum
  • Eligibility
    Graduate/Post-Graduate Degree (in any discipline)
    Relevant teaching/training experience preferred
  • Duration
    11-week online session + 30 hours face-to-face workshop
  • Syllabus
      The VOLT Track1 module comprises of the following themes:

    • Learning Theories
    • Scaffolding for Learning
    • Games and Simulations
    • Defining Digital Literacies
    • Participatory Cultures, Connected Learning and Community
    • Designing Blended Learning Experiences
    • Continuous Teacher Professional Development
Faculty Spotlight
Catrice Barrett
Betty Chandy
L. Michael Golden
Lara Paparo
  • Profile
    Facilitator – VOLT Program, UPenn GSE
  • Qualification
    Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics from UPenn
  • Experience
    Catrice Barrett is a dedicated educator, advocate and teacher educator, who sees the classroom as a canvas for innovation. Her 10 years of teaching experience combined with a foundational career in software engineering has motivated Catrice’s work with educational technologies, particularly in the area of second/foreign language learning. Collaboration with educators in both K-12 and higher education environments remains a hallmark of Catrice’s success as a thought leader. Her key initiatives include: research and co-teaching with media literacies in the high school ESL classroom; ESOL pre-service teacher supervision and practicum facilitation; convening educational technology showcases; and leading faculty development workshops on blended learning. 

    Inspired by contemporary best practices in online education, Catrice continues to push the envelope. In the role of project manager and lead research fellow, she led the launch of the Library Lounge online information literacy program at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. Her research record covers a range of topics in sociolinguistics, technology and education, including a forthcoming article on asynchronous learning in the Online Learning Journal. 

    Currently, in addition to teaching with the VOLT Program at Penn GSE, Catrice works as a consultant for elementary schools in the Fulton County School District (Atlanta, GA) to establish blended learning models for foreign language instruction. The same commitment to 21st century learning that inspired Catrice’s trajectory in teaching, research and teacher education has propelled her to continue exploring the promise of technology in the quest to solve challenges for today’s learners.
  • Profile
    Director – VOLT and EXACT Program, UPenn GSE
  • Qualification
    Ph.D. in Education from UPenn
  • Experience
    Betty Chandy started her career as a K-12 teacher, and then moved into research exploring the impact of professional development on teachers’ pedagogical practices. Her work with the NSF funded research program Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) sought to bring cutting-edge technology, curriculum, and instruction to Philadelphia ninth- and tenth-grade students. Her research explores teachers’ adoption of technology and the influence of teacher beliefs and attitudes on classroom instruction.

    Inspired by the newest education technologies solutions, Betty's work interests include design of learning environments, online teaching and learning, and use of innovative technology within classrooms. She has worked extensively with professional development technology for teachers in the School District of Philadelphia. She has developed and conducted technology workshops for various target groups such as students, teachers, as well as school and higher education administrators.
  • Profile
    Executive Director, Catalyst, UPenn GSE
  • Qualification
    Ed.D. from UPenn, MBA from Harvard
  • Experience
    Michael is a proven education leader committed to education reform. He brings expertise in the convergence of business, technology, and education as an implementer with experience in established, emergent, and public sector environments. Most recently, Dr. Golden co-founded and served as CEO of Educurious, a non-profit corporation that provides project-based courses and professional development aimed at motivating students to become purposeful, self-confident, and successful in their learning.

    Dr. Golden began his career in education as Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, where he set strategy, policy, programs, and legislation for over two million students. As Deputy Secretary, he developed systems and directed funding to make schools more effective and efficient, including formulating and implementing statewide education technology policies and initiatives. He envisioned and rolled out a groundbreaking $250 million reform to embed student-centered, inquiry-based, data-driven pedagogy in Pennsylvania's 622 high schools through connected classrooms and one-to-one computing environments. 
  • Profile
    Associate Director – Penn Literacy Network, UPenn GSE
  • Qualification
    Bachelor’s degree in Government from Franklin and Marshall College; Master’s degree in Secondary Education and Pennsylvania teaching certification from UPenn.
  • Experience
    Lara Paparo has a vast experience of instructing teachers in the areas of reading, writing and literacy across the curriculum for 16 years through the Penn Literacy Network. Her focus in teacher education is on content area literacy and she is particularly passionate about working with teachers across the curriculum in various content areas. 

    She co-authored The Plainer Truths of Teaching, Learning & Literacy in 2016, which is a comprehensive guide to teaching, learning and literacy PreK-12 and across the curriculum. This book includes theory and practical applications to inform teaching and learning through the Four Lenses of Learning, and the Five Reading, Writing, Talking Processes.
Testimonials
Here's what they have to say about UPenn Graduate School of Education’s Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) Program!
Rinku Banerjee
Batch: Volt 16
It is very rightly said that learning happens from womb to tomb. I personally experienced this getting enrolled in PennGSE for VOLT Track 2 which is a course of 30 weeks. Attending the five days face to face workshop was the first session of getting acquainted to the course. It was a great learning with the resource people coming from the same University.

The learning process mainly began with use of digital technology in our teaching process. We learnt many technicalities which can make the teaching interesting and learning everlasting; students need to be independent learners through activities, self-designed ways of learning and varied projects.

Students need to be digital immigrants and not remain simply literate. As a teacher, I personally feel that we too have got enough exposure to use of digital technology in our routine teaching classes. Assignments and Assessments can be designed more innovatively and interestingly. Use of technology will surely save our time and energy.

Attending the classes of virtual training proves that there is no end to any learning.
Pinkey Singh
Batch: Volt 16
The five Day face to face workshop on VOLT was indeed an enriching experience where I got an opportunity to explore and enhance my teaching skills through technology based education program. The way the ice-breaking session began was a candid approach to interact with fellow participants and build team work. The resource persons Betty, Lara, Michael and Catrice with their intense knowledge conducted these sessions confidently and reached us fruitfully. I’ve already started working on this project by calling it in their terms ‘Immersive Learning’. Not even once I felt that it was in vain as they explained, discussed and reviewed the details elaborately. We were involved throughout this workshop with more to learn ahead.
Manisha Lasrado
Batch: Volt 16
With emerging technological trends, there appears to be a need to focus more on digital literacies in an ever expanding digital environment. The idea that students can learn independently and assess their own learning is fascinating. This not only encourages them to think freely, but also to move away from a traditional system of accepting everything that is fed to them in a classroom. At a time where there’s a need to evaluate the accuracy of information, I think digital literacy is important, for it helps to shake up old systems and creates a new working environment. It also bares importance to mention that the course does emphasize on cyber safety. Ultimately student success would depend on how well they can adapt to ever changing problems in a digital age.

The VOLT (Virtual Online Teaching Certificate) Program offered by Penn GSE was engaging and interactive. It provided a healthy mix of theory along with some hands on experience. The program covered strategies to enhance skills and introduced us to new age tools that act as a support for both the facilitators and students across all spheres. The experience of interacting with the faculty from Penn GSE was a positive one. The team took the time to address all queries and provided examples at every stage to help deepen our understanding. It is a course I would highly recommend and hope to be part of the new wave.
Hina Chandrapota
Batch: Volt 16
Aditya Birla Education Academy is trying to implement innovative programs to affect student outcomes in a positive way. Implementing learning styles for teaching beyond the traditional classroom, along with using technology and having fun at the same time is exactly what VOLT is all about. I couldn’t think of a greater opportunity and am thankful for attending this course which is extremely insightful. Being able to experience it as a student, in a classroom set up with other teachers was a brilliant way to start the course and internalize the theory and practice. I often say to myself, “To make the students excited about learning and feel like a valued member in the classroom, a variety of strategies and evaluation methods have to be used in our instructions”. Hence, we need to evolve and adapt our style to the changing dynamics of the classroom regularly. As this course has kept me involved and interested from the beginning, I am looking forward to be enriched and engaged with the rest of the programme as well. I believe “The best teachers continue to learn and grow”.
Michelle Rego
Batch: Volt 16
The VOLT programme conducted by the Penn Graduate School of Education was an amazing learning experience. The purpose of the workshop was clearly stated and met all of my expectations. The incredible variety of strategies, the facilitation tips, the content and the organisation was truly wonderful. It has given me the opportunity to grow and learn about myself as an educator and as a person.

The workshop transformed me both professionally and personally. The ideas were excellent and the delivery was well presented by our trainers- Betty, Michael, Lara and I am already feeling energised and eager to start using my new teaching tools in class. The workshop was very interactive and kept all of us engaged and active.

I would strongly recommend this workshop to those who want to teach the young minds with a difference.
Allison Gubanich
Batch: Volt 16
Curriculum and Instruction Leader, AIM Academy, Pennsylvania

“As an educator, the VOLT program was invaluable for pushing me to expand the walls of my classroom and re-conceptualize what teaching and learning should look like. The online format allowed me to immediately apply course material to my professional practice, and, as a result, my students benefitted greatly from my enrollment. Their level of engagement sustains itself long after they leave our physical meeting space, largely because of what I learned in the VOLT program about creating a sense of community in an online sphere. Bolstering my curriculum with virtual teaching methods also means that much of my students’ work—from weekly blog posts to video reflections—is collected online for easy retrieval or long-term storage.”
Maria Geiger
Batch: Volt 15
Adjunct Professor, Monmouth University, New Jersey

“Completing the VOLT Program was one of the best decisions I ever made. While I initially enrolled in the program to learn the latest emerging technologies concerning instructional design and assessment, I came away with so much more. As an instructor who knows that students need to be engaged to learn, I appreciate how the VOLT Program presented best practices to engage all students (irrespective of subject matter), whether online or in a traditional brick and mortar building. The balance of synchronous and asynchronous learning was perfect; I worked at my own pace for most assignments, but welcomed the sense of community that the weekly synchronous sessions offered. The very best part of the VOLT Program was participating as a student myself. With knowledgeable and always accessible VOLT instructors as models, I learned firsthand that online learning is engaging, innovative, and a necessary part of our increasingly digitally connected world.”
Samantha Clarke
Batch: Volt 15
Teacher, Ridley SD, Pennsylvania

“Through VOLT, I was able to learn about the purpose of technology in the classroom and the benefits for students' lifelong success in the digital world. The program gave me access to a variety of tools, on the iPad and online, that I use to teach in the classroom and make the content more engaging for my students. I also acquired a list of applications, which allow my students to create richer content that is authentic and create seamless collaboration. In addition, through reflection and discussions with cohort members, I was able to analyze the purpose of the technological tools I used in the classroom and their intended purpose.”
Alonna Berry
Batch: Volt 15
Manager, Alumni & Teacher Impact, Teach For America Delaware

“As an educator, who now supports new teachers in classrooms, I wanted to learn more about technology and education to better support the students in my state. VOLT seemed like a great way to do that. VOLT allowed me the flexibility to attend classes online while building a network with other educators across the country. Every class was taught by a different instructor who valued technology and teaching different ways. Regardless of the class or instructor, I always left each week with a new idea, concept or platform to share with teachers. VOLT truly changed the way I think about instruction for both adult learners and student learners.”
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Course related
  • Fees related
The workshops will be conducted at the Aditya Birla World Academy, Tardeo, Mumbai.
Yes, the participants may be given assignments during the workshop which may require a personal computer to work on. The academy is Wi-Fi enabled.
The timings for each of the sessions will be determined mutually by the facilitator and participants.
The educational qualifications held by an applicant should be equivalent to a graduate/post-graduate degree from any accredited university. The qualifications required for each course have been enlisted individually in the 'Courses' section on the website.
The ABEA sessions will be recorded and uploaded on the website for the perusal of the participants for a limited period of time. One will be able to access it with their login ID and password.
The academy will not provide accommodation. It will be the participant’s responsibility to secure their accommodation for the duration of the workshops.
At the conclusion of the program, a graduation ceremony will be held for the participants where they will be handed their certificates.
Once the admission process for the program has been completed, the participant will then be provided with login credentials, giving access to the university resources.
No. Any additional material, if required, will be provided by the academy.
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