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Drip feed CPD from Partners in Learning

photo (115)

As we come to the end of another term, it’s been time to reflect on fourteen weeks in my new role as Professional Tutor.  One thing I have learned is that we never stop learning.  Well, I knew that already.  More specifically, I know that no one learns within set periods of time.  One frustration this term is the reliance on CPD ‘time.’  Often at the end of the school day or within INSET days.  This is clearly bonkers.  I’m notorious for not being able to focus during such training sessions.  Add to this that, as a profession, many agree that educators should be modelling ‘any-time-anywhere’ learning with young people and encouraging lifelong learning.

Personally, I prefer to dip in and out of training when I get the chance, or when the mood takes me.  This is where I’d like to use Partners in Learning as an example of a setup where this can be achieved.  I’m planning to use their materials in order to develop a whole school approach to up skill teachers at my institution.  There are three tools that I’d like to talk about.  Each one, in my view, allows teachers to learn whenever they need or want to.  Before I go too far, I should remind readers that I believe in using technology appropriately, when it matches sound learning objectives (rather than starting with the technology then the learning) and in using whatever tool does the job best.  I’m also thinking of the ‘general’ teacher, rather than early adopters or those practitioners already confident with 21st Century Skills.  I’m also not a fan of online learning Winking smile

1. Teaching with Technology.

Teaching with Technology is a free, online course that is linked to the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework For Teachers.  As it’s online ‘eLearning’, it;s easy to dip in and out of and split into short chunks.  Many readers may find the content straightforward, but then the course is not aimed at seasoned technologists but at those teachers who need to use the tools available to them better. There is also a self-evaluation tool to enable learning to be targeted. 


Having worked through some of the materials and passed all of the tests, I can see the potential that Teaching with Technology has if targeted correctly.  Although the learning is independent and available online, I can see a role for a school’s  CPD coordinator to guide teachers to use the most appropriate course.

2. Windows in the Classroom Seminars

windows in the classroom

While this series of short YouTube clips are unashamedly focused on Windows 8 users, there is some very sound pedagogical tips for teachers and some powerful arguments for using technology in the classroom.  I liked the format of the videos and have embedded one below.  Initially I thought that they would be of limited value without access to Windows 8, the focus is actually mainly on Office 2010 applications.

3. Ribbon Hero

Microsoft have revamped this tool for learning the ropes of Office 2010 into a rather funky cartoon like story.  Using a gaming approach, I find working through the exercises when I have time, improves my knowledge and skills at using applications.  Why bother? Our school is almost exclusively Windows based.  I’ve also spoken to our support staff and intend to roll our Ribbon Hero to as many teacher (and student) machines as possible.

Finally (and I don’t really rave about the online badges thing, I like certificates Winking smile), all of this is available for free by joining the Partners in Learning Network where you can gain badges for engaging with the professional learning, gain access to a wealth of free software and interact with teachers from across the globe.  Too much to do? 



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