Written by Mo Qureshi, BSD Education
Professional Development (PD) training has played a key role in the rollout of Technology Education into schools across the world. In the last 3 years, we at BSD Education have professionally developed over 1000 teachers at 160 schools located in 11 countries.
When it comes to effectively integrating technology education into all classrooms, we have identified three hurdles that teachers normally face:
- Confidence: Most teachers don’t usually have a background in technology, so can see it as risky and unfamiliar. With limited to no prior experience in technology education, as well as the lack of access to guidance and support, they are not fully confident with bringing technology in the classroom.
- Content: Technology is constantly changing. Curriculum can therefore be quickly outdated and will require more time to redevelop.
- Community: Teachers don’t have a large and accessible community of practice or peers to learn from and share ideas.
The objective of our PD training is to help teachers overcome these hurdles. Our PDs give teachers the skills and confidence they need to adopt, implement and sustain the delivery of Technology Education curriculum seamlessly in their classrooms.
Our Foundation PD lasts 6 hours, are delivered in person or virtually and cover these 3 main topic areas:
- Orientation to BSD Online, our online learning platform
- Skill learning, like how to prep for a technology classroom, basics of coding, etc
- Curriculum familiarisation
Like our curriculum, the emphasis in PD training is to “learn by doing”. We apply this by having the trainings split across the school year to create a learn-apply-reflect-learn model. This means that after the first PD lesson of 90-120 minutes of the Foundation, the teachers are encouraged to teach their first lesson and give their feedback and reflections to the PD instructor. This also helps guide the next PD lessons as we learn more about them and their methods and also helps teachers identify the gaps in their knowledge and skills to specifically work on them. After 2-3 lessons, the initial worries are gone and teachers can then focus on deepening the integration within their classroom.
Our journey with the teachers doesn’t end after PD lessons. In addition to the PD trainings, we also communicate and engage with our teachers throughout the year through offline events, online webinars, regular on-demand PD coaching and our online teacher chat support.
After the PD lessons are completed, our Learning Experience team engages with the teachers one on one or in groups to learn about their new approaches to implementation of technology education in the classroom, including their successes and challenges. Where there are challenges, we address them by providing support and further training if needed. Where there are successes, we ensure to share the success stories with other teachers within the school and with our other partner schools so they can learn from them and use it as inspiration to tackle similar challenges they may face in their classrooms.
Through our PD lessons and coaching, we ensure to maintain a regular human connection with all our teachers across the world and help them bring exciting and new knowledge, skills and technologies into their classrooms. If you would like to learn more about our PD trainings or would love a sneak peak, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d love to discuss!