Informal CPD Spaces, Staffrooms + Sandpits

Chloë Hynes
Twitter Profile: @PDNorth_FE 28th February 2021

This reflection was contributed as a submission for a 2 Star Badge in The Digital Teacher (Leading)

Give a brief description of your work context and responsibilities, e.g. your teaching background, experience, type of organisation (e.g. FE college, ACL), subject/curriculum you teach/lead, your learners (skills level, any particular inclusion needs, age range of group, size of group)

I work for an education consultancy as a teacher trainer and resource designer. I’m currently working towards ATS and specialise in ESOL, English and digital. My passion lies in community learning, empowering people through developing their literacies; whether that’s English or developing their digital resilience. I am currently facilitating a number of informal CPD spaces inc. ESOL... more

How did you use the learning from this/these module(s) (briefly describe the learning context, with a focus on The Digital Teacher)

Elements from this module enabled me to have critical discussions with my peers with regards to two seemingly binary debates:

Firstly whether competence can be used interchangeably with confidence and whether it is important we notice the difference. If so, how do we enable practitioners to do this themselves? How can we measure both – especially at a distance and when... more

How did you adapt/modify activities and/or resources for your context providing alternative approaches with specific reference to The Digital Teacher practices?

I set up regular online staffrooms for our practitioners (though I informed them it was optional). Every meeting had some kind of digital focus that was crowd sourced from the practitioners themselves. It opened up a platform for them to share great practice with their colleagues and inspire others to give new things a go based on their positive experiences. It was useful to hear about... more

Provide any examples of any new approaches tested out.

In addition to giving practitioners the opportunity to experience a platform as a participant, giving them time and space for ‘Sandpit time’: after a demo or teachmeet of a digital platform, send practitioners into breakout rooms in small groups for a good chunk of time (e.g. 20mins) for them to play with a particular platform and create something with it. Practitioners very often... more

What worked well, or did not work so well? How would you approach the activity/use the resource differently next time?

A practitioner shared a digital tip verbally. I asked if she could demonstrate by telling me what to do but as I was using a different system and browser, it caused a little confusion. In retrospect, I should have empowered her to share her own screen and scaffolded some questions to help her peers understand what she was doing.

How did the learning from the module(s) impact on the quality of the learning experience?

It allowed me to empower practitioners to take control of their own development. It gave them much needed time and space to try things out themselves before using with learners. In turn, this increased both the confidence and competence of the practitioners as their familiarity was increased and their application of relevant pedagogy was enhanced.

How have you initiated strategic change/quality improvement in relation to The Digital Teacher, eg at a peer, department, organisational, regional, national level)?

I am currently undertaking Advanced Teacher Status and have decided to explore informal CPD spaces for my Quality Improvement Project with a view to changing our in-house CPD practices and trainer support. In order to to this, I have been exploring different approaches to the staffroom model inc digital take overs, teachmeets and sandpit sessions, across different teams and networks. This... more

What will be your next step in bringing about further change?

We will be sharing our experience of (and modelling) these approaches on a larger scale at a national development day in a few weeks time.

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About This Reflection

Digital Resilience Digital Learning Practitioners Confidence CPD Informal Staff

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