• Rebecca Young

Preparing your Teachers for Online Schooling

As an educator, back to school was always an exciting time for me. The delight of catching-up with my colleagues and hearing about their summer adventures. The anticipation of welcoming our students back to our newly prepared classrooms - a fresh start.

Preparation this year is different. Back-to-school jitters and excitement are replaced with uncertainty surrounding new protocols for physical distancing, PPE, and cleaning. New questions about our instructional approaches; Will I be teaching in-person, online, or a mix of both? Questions about our efficacy as educators in these modalities; Am I going to be as effective a teacher as I have always been?

These are difficult questions for even the most confident and experienced educators, and they’re not alone. Most teachers feel they don’t have the necessary skills.

A poll of 1,500 teachers said 79% want more training

While many schools are struggling to meet these new training demands, others are delivering masterclasses on strategic upskilling for virtual learning. SkoolSpot partner school, the American Creativity Academy, Kuwait (ACA), is one of those schools showing how it's done.

Early in the pandemic, ACA leadership identified the need to quickly improve virtual learning skills of all teaching staff. Their new hires were already engaged in online preparation via SkoolSpot’s onboarding and training platform, and so ACA worked with SkoolSpot to expand the preparation training for the new instructional environment.

Working closely with ACA’s instructional team, SkoolSpot facilitated a four phase instructional design approach to develop customized learning for their unique needs.

Phase 1: Analysis

SkoolSpot set out to understand ACA’s specific training needs by identifying;

  • The target audience (teachers, staff, admin)

  • The desired learning outcomes for each audience

  • The timelines for completion

Phase 2: Design

Working closely with ACA’s instructional team, SkoolSpot established the style, format, and content layout for each of the identified learning paths.

Phase 3: Development With clarity on the audiences, outcomes, style and format, SkoolSpot created a learning prototype with integrated images, videos, content interactions, assessments and surveys for review.

Phase 4: Implementation After necessary revisions, the newly developed training was rolled out via curated learning pathways specific to each individual learner's needs.

SkoolSpot created separate, customized training courses specific to ACA’s online teaching systems and virtual learning approach. Administrators were trained on monitoring learning across school levels and teachers were trained on how to teach virtually with ACA’s virtual learning best practices, what ACA online teaching systems to use to achieve this and how to use them. These teaching courses were also created in English and in Arabic to meet the learning needs of the staff.

Quick Successes:

ACA saw quick success with the design and delivery of these courses. Within three weeks over 78% of staff successfully completed the Virtual Learning courses and demonstrated an increased sense of preparedness for the start of the school year;

“I found this training to be very user friendly. The videos made it easy to understand. Well done, very informative!”

“The training was very clear and helpful! The anxiety I had facing this new school year was reduced because of your hard work! “

“For me teaching online is something new. I appreciated the organization and step-by-step details. It improved my knowledge and background of all skills and abilities”

In addition to our platform for teacher onboarding and training, SkoolSpot’s team has extensive experience designing, developing, and delivering engaging online learning for world-class learning institutions, including; OISE - University of Toronto, Teachers College - Columbia University, and Beijing Normal University.

To learn more about training teachers for your school’s online platforms and other skills development, please contact us to learn more.

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