As a teacher investing time, money and effort into Professional Development, it is important that you get value out of it. Consider the following when you choose your next digital education training. A business looks for a monetary return on investment, but for teachers, the return on investment must come from the benefits received from the training.
Consider this formula:
The training must benefit the teacher in the following ways. Personally, the teacher must enjoy growth at intellectual and emotional levels to allow them to feel great about themselves and their jobs. Professionally, the teacher must benefit with easier teaching, improved outcomes and the status that comes with this success.
When the teacher receives high quality professional development, others benefit too. The learners receive benefits like better career prospects and increased lifetime earnings because of their improved outcomes. And the whole education system then improves too.
How can these benefits be achieved?
Research shows that quality Professional Development has the following characteristics:
- a focus on content
- active teacher participation
- alignment with teachers’ teaching goals
- opportunities for higher order thinking and collaboration including the chance to reflect on the learning
- adequate training time.
Training is one thing but taking the learning back to the classroom is another. Research shows that there are several factors that come into play when it comes to teachers using the learning in the classroom. These must be considered in the design of the training to ensure its quality:
- teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about, and philosophical alignment with, the PD
- teacher perceptions of, and actual support from school leadership
- teacher mindset – a change mindset is critical
- teacher life stage. A teacher nearing retirement is going to have different personal goals to a young one raring to rise up the ranks.
Quality has to be weighed against two critical issues – time and cost. Time taken to do the training comes from class time (which is counterintuitive to improving educational outcomes) or from life (the time the teacher has to do marking, prep, and day-to-day living).
Research shows that adequate training time for positive impact on the educational outcomes of learners is at least 5 hours in length, and ideally 49 hours in length. Costs include the actual financial costs as well as the effort required to do the training. Resources to do the training, and to use the training back in class must be factored in.
At Via Afrika we have been working hard at making sure that we are able to offer teachers the benefits of training by examining how we can get the quality, time and cost equation right.
The Via Afrika Digital Education Academy offers training for implementing digital education from developing a change mindset, through getting going with a device all the way to advanced digital education implementation. There is over 72 hours of digital education training, which the teacher can do in bite-sized pieces when she has a moment. The online system allows her to do a few minutes at a time and is supported with notes to keep her on track.
Experience the benefits of Via Afrika’s online training today. Go to viaafrika.com/academy and register. Your first TWO sessions are on us – just use the coupon codes FIRSTFREE and VADEA1801 when checking out, and the sessions will be free! We offer 72 online two-hour Windows or Android tablet training sessions @ R125 each (VAT incl.). Visit our website or call Maria de Witt 021 4063005 for more info.
Have teachers found benefit in this Professional Development?
(Results of a pilot of the VADEA Online platform, 2018)
When asked whether teachers felt that because of this training, their knowledge of how technology can be used in the classroom to improve learning and teaching has increased, more than 55% indicated that their knowledge increased a lot. More than 29% of teachers said it increased a great deal. More than 70% of teachers agree with the statement that in doing this training, they think their learners will demonstrate improved learning outcomes, while more than 11% strongly agree with the statement.