When we think of innovation in schools, we usually imagine a new piece of equipment, a new software programme that will change the way we deliver a subject, or track progress, measure attainment, something tangible that comes with a price tag. But actually, innovation is just about doing things differently; it's thinking about how and why we do what we do and trying out a way of doing it differently with a bit of imagination.
The overload of information on the internet poses a problem for time-strapped teachers, who have to trawl search engines for resources that are appropriate for their subject and class. It was this problem that, in Autumn 2014, we decided to tackle head-on with the creation of TeachPitch, a platform that curates free teaching resources and lets you search these for the perfect resource.
Since then we have had tens of thousands of users from over 130 countries, providing direct access to over hundreds of thousands of resources and with millions more available via our dedicated premium content providers.
We are so proud of the work we have done, but we have come to understand that dealing with information abundance is only one part of a wider issue; the digital capability of teachers. In a report in 2016 (page 9) the UK Government recommended that:
“Employers should ensure existing staff have the training to keep their digital skills updated, and develop active recruitment and development strategies to maximise the digital skills of their workforce at all times.”
We know that teachers are still not always offered this level of support, and we want to help solve this bigger problem with a resource that is relevant to them. This is why we are very excited to announce a brand new online teacher-training platform solely focussed on fully engaging teachers as professionals in a rapidly evolving new Digital Economy.
We are extremely proud to present: the Digital Skills Course.
This course consists of a series of 20+ webinars given by expert tutors over one year, accessible via our innovative, exclusive training platform. Registered teachers will be able to enjoy online training in a variety of topics, from video teaching & learning, using tech to identify and address student special needs, and digital educational content creation. The course also addresses tech matters that are further out there, such as virtual/augmented reality, the role of the blockchain in education, introduction to coding, and so much more.
With this course, we aim to improve teachers’ digital awareness and introduce them to the way that digital tools and methods will change how teaching takes place in the future. We want to provide the teachers of today with the skills to teach the students of tomorrow. We are working hard on the first release of the course; building the platform, testing it with real teachers and identifying the very best tutors to lead the webinars. We cannot wait to introduce the final product next month.
We have had great feedback so far. If you’d like to get involved with helping test the course, or keep updated about our progress, please email us at [email protected]. To find out more about TeachPitch, visit www.teachpitch.com.
Want to receive cutting-edge insights from leading educators each week? Sign up to our Community Update and be part of the action!
Independent Thinking associate Lisa Ashes is part of a group of passionate educators who have just gotten back from their latest pedagogic trip to Nepal. Here, the Manglish author (Teacher in the Cupboard is out soon) tells us why she’s proud to be a part of Reach Out 2 Schools’ mission...
The teacher workload crisis is hitting headlines on an increasingly frequent basis. Educators are expected to keep huge amount of plates spinning at all times, so it’s vital that they have everything they need. However, even with all of the most cutting-edge resources around, schools are all-too-often short on arguably the most rarefied asset: time. This is the issue that the team at TrainingToolz is looking to overhaul for good.
It is a beautiful March day: slight breeze, sun’s out, chilly with the feeling that spring is nearly there. I am sitting at the back of a 2nd floor classroom facing a newly-qualified teacher as part of his mentoring support, observing a lesson. His target: pupil engagement. He is at the front of a twitchy, but generally well-behaved Year 5 class standing at the interactive whiteboard. The activity seems engaging - learners are invited to come up to the board and use labels to match parts of trees, comparing these to flowers and plants. Either side of the whiteboard are large windows. The one to his right faces out over the city - a great view. The one to his left overlooks the school field, with more trees than I can count.
To make the most of stretched budgets, schools need all the ideas they can get! In the latest Innovate My School Guide, two school leaders and one veteran consultant weigh in on this very issue. Here’s a sneak peak...