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Lessons from launching: Successful strategies for taking teacher training online

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thank you so much henna lovely to see you and lovely to see everybody else everybody else you look gorgeous uh relax i can’t actually see you but it’s lovely to be here with you today and to get us all started i’m to ask you to type a little message into the chat for us to we’re going to be talking about teacher training so we’d love to know are you a teacher a trainer or something else tell us in the chat tell us in the chat are you a teacher a trainer or something else bit of everything good fantastic lots of teachers some trainers wonderful all right oh lovely to see some former colleagues there thank you for joining us this afternoon please also let me know if you can now see my slides appearing on the screen for you just they got it got it got it lovely thank you everyone alrighty so we’re going to be with you now until quarter past the hour wherever you are and we’re telling our tale of teacher training and adventures from lessons from launching as henna mentioned the queensland institute and thank you for sharing your comments in the chat with us and your abstract is here for you for those of you who are watching a little bit later today but the title of our presentation is lessons from launching successful strategies for taking teacher training online and i’m fiona wiebus and i’m delighted to be joined by my colleague and co-director of the queensland institute philippa coleman it’s away philippa she’ll be joining us shortly so in today’s 10 minute power presentation we’re going to share our story of transformation over the last 12 months after all it’s not just our learners who have experienced great change it’s all of us as teachers too so that’s why at the queensland institute our mission has become wanting to empower global educators through practical professional development that makes those connections between language and learning and teaching all online in 2021 but we begin our story back where it all began once upon a time in the sunshine state some talented teachers worked in a magical place called the university of queensland’s institute of continuing and tesol education and it’s in this place where professional development flourished it’s where henno and paul dreamed up the ed tech sig it’s also henna pre-beard i noticed beard going well and it’s where philippa and i are privileged to to lead teacher training programs for for many years uh and it was here surrounded by some pretty incredible colleagues that we honed our skills in blended and online delivery in recent years but of course in early 2020 when the plane stopped bringing our international teachers to us we knew that we needed a new way to fly we wanted to be able to continue to support our international partners by providing quality teacher training really at a time where the teachers needed our help more than ever and our mission became our new adventure we wanted to build and deliver interactive practical and immersive online training programs so we gathered lots of our business mentors and colleagues and forged international partnerships we wrote new online materials we’re still writing we sought advice from lawyers accountants and comms teams and taught ourselves a lot with youtube and set up our training team of colleagues and by april 2021 the queensland institute was delivering teacher training again across the asia pacific so what did we learn along the way in the past well yes it’s been an incredible whirlwind uh filled with triumphs and some turbulence and we’ve had many discoveries along the way too so for us practicality and learning by doing are really important for teacher training and two key examples of how we’ve achieved this in an online space are firstly maintaining peer-to-peer teaching practice in our programs and incorporating a range of digital tools to support and manage formative feedback and after russell’s presentation i think we’ll be adding a few more digital tools to our armory so firstly we kept teaching practice in our programs all our participants and our programs experience demonstration lessons with us in a typical interactive webinar format then they’re guided through some teaching practice project based learning resources and join consultation sessions with their trainers the participants continue preparing their lesson plans asynchronously in preparation for their teaching and they typically deliver their lessons live with their peers logged on to a single zoom room or in scheduled breakout rooms for larger groups and then secondly we adapted our approach to teacher reflection and feedback so teaching resources and written feedback are shared via digital notice boards like padlet we model and use a range of freely accessible digital apps to manage synchronous peer-to-peer written commentary during teaching sessions google jamboard is one example and we also use other apps like flipbrid to manage asynchronous feedback from peers and tutors facebook groups also help to encourage intercultural exchange and communities of practice so these small changes to teaching practice and feedback have worked well for us so far and even though there’s been lots of new discoveries we feel the results remain the same so for example last week we hosted a mini conference with our teacher trainees as the presenters we were very pleasantly surprised that their topics that they chose to showcase their learning were not the tools they’d used in our program it was the teaching so these are some of their topics aren’t they terrific and all of this gave us the confidence that maybe we’re still on the right flight path so as we look back over the last six months the view is pretty incredible and there are three things that we learned since launching the queensland institute i’m probably gonna get grief from my ict colleagues about three things there are always three things for me so the first thing that we learned is that teacher training or teaching online in fact is not deficient it’s just different so having observed hundreds of teachers now teaching online in the last year we know that even though we’re online we are actually still face to face we know that we’re able to still make connections with our students we can still build communities of practice we can still inspire innovation in teaching and make training sustainable enjoyable as we’ve seen today and accessible and that’s the second thing that we learned that working online has actually brought the world closer to us the teacher participants we work with now have access to training that they might never have had access to before and yes we still partner with traditional institutions like universities or ministries of education but also schools in remote communities or in tiny nations and greater access to quality training is something that really resonates with us and has brought many lessons but also a lot of meaning to our own training careers over the last six months in particular because it’s in these places where the empowerment is real and greatly appreciated so the third lesson we’ve learned is that we no longer look for training clients we look for training partners we’re teachers we always have been and we always will be so our strengths lie in developing academic partnerships to plan and deliver teacher training that’s really fit for purpose wherever that may be so that means that we treat our partners professional development outcomes as if they were our own because they really are so we are still learning a flooded veining machine and we need to keep the fires burning so we would love to hear from you and hear your stories of teacher training and online professional development too we are on a mission to empower global educators and we hope that you will join us and share your experiences too you can join us in the chat you can certainly connect with us in all of these ways and given our time i thought it might be prudent to have a little padlet ready to rock and roll that you can actually add your q a there perhaps if you click on the padlet and then we can respond um anytime to you but thank you so much for joining us and our future participants wanted to get involved too so they’re going to say just a quick little farewell to you here [Music] [Music] and i’m sure you’ll get lots of you


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Lessons from launching: Successful strategies for taking teacher training online
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