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Online training

June 02, 2005

You know, teachers often complain to me that they feel their schools don't do enough to help them develop. I sympathize. Teaching is a dynamic activity and for teachers to feel that are not going stale they need ongoing professional development. Undoubtedly for schools in remote areas this can be a problem but thanks to the plethora of options available through the Internet, there are opportunities for all.

Online training is an attractive form of professional development for teachers mainly because of its ease of access and its flexibility. Staff can work wherever they choose and at times convenient to their schedule. But online training, just like any form of distance learning, has its downside. It requires very strong motivation and self-discipline because the learner doesn't have the support of a group of other trainees. This means that many feel isolated and drop out before they complete their course.

To overcome this drawback, and to help teachers make the most of online training , you can take steps to set up a support group in your school. First ensure that several teachers sign up for the same program. Then agree with them a time when they will meet regularly to discuss the issues raised on the course. The group could be self-directed or you might ask a senior staff member to coordinate it so that further transfer of knowledge can take place from, say the DOS, to the participating teachers. This way you can integrate the online training process into the professional development program in your school in a truly supportive way. Search for courses that suit your staff's needs: http://www.whichcourse.com/.

I'd like to hear about your experiences.

Back soon,
Patricia.


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