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Staff Training in the Technology for Online Teaching

The Covid crisis has forced everybody to suddenly have to engage with the tools of online learning. As in other areas of administration it has long been observed that the introduction of new technology does not immediately bring greater effectiveness. Too frequently the missing ingredient does not come in the box but has to be developed locally – training of staff.

If this is omitted for whatever reason then there is likely to be a lot of difficulties that will have to be resolved by training at a later stage. In education this is not a good option. Teachers may have struggled with the technology and instead of it being a tool to solve a problem it becomes a barrier to the solution. Students at the receiving end of poor delivery will loose interest and may be difficult to win back later.

The ingredients of training are fairly simple.

Remember that this is a new teaching environment and the technology is only one element that is new, most of the classroom pedagogy that the teachers are familiar with does not work in a virtual environment.

With the software platform – don’t start with the assumption that staff can pick it up as they go along.

Learn how to use the software yourself first. Learning how to use these platforms is important – if anything goes wrong you don’t want to lose the attention of your audience while you take time to fix it. In addition, if you know what the platform is capable of, there could even be a better way of delivering the training.

Hire in an outsider to do the training if there is nobody in-house. Your local Education Centre may be able to help here.

Initially group training is most effective but it is essential that provision is made for one-to-one training afterwards. Not everybody picks up technology at the same speed.

Seek to develop in-house expertise to be on hand to solve problems later. This will avoid the delay in getting an outsider in and enable smoother running of the work.

After training plan to run some practice sessions. These should be done from both the presenters side and the students side.

Plan for training your students too, this may have to be done remotely and is essential if class delivery is to be effective. Here you may encounter problems like Internet access, hardware and a variety of domestic difficulties.

 

After you have mastered the new technology required for online teaching it is time to turn our attention to the question of pedagogy in this environment.

You will find some help here …