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Andy Walker

New website to support Initial Teacher Training

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I have been asked to build a web site to support Initial Teacher Training at my College.

The site will eventually live HERE

So far I have a domain name and a logo!

I would be very interested in ideas for content from trainees and recently qualified teachers.

I am hoping that in time the site will develop into something that is useful for a wider audience of trainees.

I am proposing 4 basic areas

1. Info on what we do at DTC

2. A Professional Studies section

3. A Subject studies section

4. A discussion forum

However it is 17 years since I trained and I would really welcome ideas from colleagues nearer to the experience!

I would also welcome volunteers from experienced colleagues to act as online mentors later on in the project.

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Andy writes:

I have been asked to build a web site to support Initial Teacher Training at my College.

The ICT4LT site (ICT for Language Teachers) is aimed both at teachers undergoing initial teacher training and teachers already in service: http://www.ict4lt.org

Many educational colleges and university education departments use ICT4LT- the site receives around 600-900 hits per day. It was created with the aid of EC funding (1999-2000) and the English language section has been continually updated by myself as editor. Originally we thought about creating the site as a sort of VLE, but the EC funding we received (greatly reduced from the amount we applied for) did not stretch to the labour-intensive process of wrapping up the materials in a VLE package (e.g. WebCT or Blackboard), and we certainly could not support the salaries of online tutors. So we opted for a set of downloadable resources that could be used in other ways, e.g. in face-to-face training or as reference material for training delivered online in a variety of ways. In retrospect, this was a good decision, and feedback indicates that we have taken the right route. I have gone off the idea of one-size-fits-all VLEs - they often don't offer what you really want - and my personal experience over the last 20 years as a teacher trainer indicates that blended learning works best. "Blended learning", by the way, is just a fashionable new term for what many of us have been doing for a very long time.

The NOF programme was hammered by OFSTED for failing to take account of teachers' needs, in particular the online training facilities offered by some of the NOF agencies that left teachers feeling isolated. Online training doesn't work if you don't create a sense of community among your trainees. The Open University knows a good deal about this. They use a conferencing package called Lyceum (not available outside the OU) that addresses the need for human contact (teacher-learner and peer-peer) that people following a distance learning course have always experienced, regardless of the way it is delivered - by printed materials, TV, radio or the Internet.

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However it is 17 years since I trained and I would really welcome ideas from colleagues nearer to the experience!

I would also welcome volunteers from experienced colleagues to act as online mentors later on in the project.

Well I've been 'out of college' for four years and would be happy to act as online mentor...

Perhaps in our increasingly tick-box, profile oriented profession some means for your trainers to record their progress against The Standards might be of benefit, as might some examples of what more experienced 'readers' might take to be meeting The Standards.

Hope the project goes well!

Ed

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However it is 17 years since I trained and I would really welcome ideas from colleagues nearer to the experience!

I would also welcome volunteers from experienced colleagues to act as online mentors later on in the project.

Well I've been 'out of college' for four years and would be happy to act as online mentor...

Perhaps in our increasingly tick-box, profile oriented profession some means for your trainers to record their progress against The Standards might be of benefit, as might some examples of what more experienced 'readers' might take to be meeting The Standards.

Hope the project goes well!

Ed

I will certainly take you up on that very kind offer Ed - thanks

I am going to be using this forum extensively with the poor old plumbers apprentices (SCITT and GTPs) for tutoring/mentoring, but was thinking also of maybe setting up a separate unmoderated forum just for them where they can chew the fat as unprofessionally as they like - what do you think?

:rolleyes:

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