Teacher Professional Learning – Finding The Right Blend: A Sum-Up

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H2 Learning’s John Hurley outlines the morning’s agenda.

 

Event Overview

The question of finding the right blend of face-to-face and online learning when it comes to teacher professional learning, was explored at St. Patrick’s College, DCU on Tuesday  (August 23rd) with an attendance list made up of principals, teachers, academics and policy makers. The animated discussion could have continued well into the afternoon.

The ENTELS project (a teacher-training, research and development project funded by the EU Commission’s Erasmus + programme), presentations and group-discussions were central to H2 Learning’s half-day symposium.

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Dr. Terry Maguire (director of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning) speaks on the need for blended learning as part of teacher CPD.

From 9:50am, presentations were delivered by our own Aedamar Frawley, who gave an overview of the ENTELS project, and Dr. Terry Maguire from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, who examined whether there is a need for blended learning and if so, what is the right blend?

Following a brief questions and answers session and a coffee break, the teachers who used the tools that came about from the ENTELS project, took to the podium. The teachers, Carrie Archer, Catherine Smith and Michael O’Donoghue expertly explained the challenge that educators can expect when they use technology in the classroom, as well as the various ways it can both intensify and simplify the teaching and learning process.

Next came the breakout sessions, which had the whole group break into four colour-coded tables. Each table had a question to deliberate over a 20-minute duration.

  1. What are the key ingredients for teacher professional learning in the 21st century? (Blue)
  1. What can be done to promote greater teacher participation and interaction in online professional learning? (Green)
  1. What is a good blend for online teacher professional learning? (Red)
  1. How can professional learning be sustained beyond fixed course timelines? (Orange)

 

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One group delivering their feedback on how professional learning can be sustained beyond fixed course timelines.

With the help of Padlet, a collaboration-based app, people at each table were able to condense and document their own thinking. A feedback session followed and a panel comprised of teacher, Carrie Archer, Dr. Michael Hallissy (H2 Learning), Prof. Linda la Velle (Plymouth University) and Dr. Terry Maguire, offered their reflections on the feedback.

 

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The panel weighs in on groups’ feedback.

 

 

The day concluded on a lively note, when circled groups carried on their conversations as they had lunch. Thanks to everyone for their contribution to this crucial conversation.

 

 

Symposium – Teacher Professional Learning: Finding The Right Blend

blended learningAs practiced professionals in the world of e-learning, we are often involved in domestic and European projects where we are asked to build professional learning courses for educators, or develop learning strategies. Our experience of this building process has alerted us to the fact that there is much more to be discussed and understood around the use of blended learning in continuous professional development (CPD).

On August 23rd, 2016, H2 Learning is pleased to host a half-day symposium, Teacher Professional Learning: Finding The Right Blend, which aims to investigate how both online and face-to-face learning can be used in teacher professional development.

This symposium recognises the findings of a European research project called ENTELS; an Erasmus + funded project, aiming to bring Information Communications Technology (ICT) into schools and into teachers’ practice through an online blended CPD model.

The symposium will explore the following questions that have emerged from the ENTELS project:

  • What are the components of quality online CPD for an educator?
  • How can we enhance participation in online or blended teacher professional development courses?
  • How can educators remain connected and continue sharing their learning beyond the fixed course timelines?

Dr. Terry Maguire, Director of the National Forum on Teaching and Learning, will join us on the day to share her views on the future of teacher professional learning and in particular the opportunities afforded by digital technology.  Participants will also hear from Irish teachers on their experiences of online learning.

Coffee and light lunch are provided on the day.

To register to attend our symposium, please click here.

New technology enhanced learning project in the works

shutterstock_115614907In Late July, 2016, H2 Learning received confirmation from Léargas, the Irish National Agency, that our project proposal was selected for funding under the Erasmus + Programme. The project title is: Technology Enhanced Learning Mentoring Support (TELMS) and will start in November 2016 with partners from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and Italy.

 

Digital Pathways Project Making Progress

digital pathways

H2 Learning, the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Krzyzowa Foundation (Poland) and MFG Baden-Württemberg (Germany), have partnered-up to develop a project called the Digital Skills Pathways for Youth across Europe.

The project aims to provide teenagers across Europe with opportunities to develop a range of digital literacy skills; to provide them with a virtual space to showcase their work and to network with peers; to expose them to the wide range of possible careers in this evolving sector and to identify pathways they can follow into further education and future employment in the field of digital media.

What’s happening now?

At the moment Digital Mentors are working on the development of the CPD (Continuous Professional Development) materials for youth tutors.

Partners are preparing for the third project meeting that will take place in Poland in October 2016.

Here is a promo video about the project.

See more information about the project here.

ATS2020 Dublin Partner Meeting – June 9th and 10th, 2016

Sinead Tuhoy (JCT) and John Hurley (H2 Learning) meeting the Irish Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton
JCT’s Sinéad Tuhoy and H2 Learning’s John Hurley meet Minister of Education and Skills, Richard Bruton.

Following three previous partner meetings in Cyprus, Slovenia and Krems, the fourth ATS2020 partner meeting, hosted by the Irish partners, Junior Cycle for Teachers and H2 Learning, kicked off at 9am on Thursday, June 9th at the Clock Tower, Department of Education in Dublin.

Lasting for two days, the 36 partners from 11 countries discussed multiple issues at the meeting, which relate to the facilitation, development and results-evaluation of the pan-European classroom pilot.

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ATS2020 group photo at the Dublin meeting.

Day 1

Workshops and presentations took place throughout the two days. Workshops on developing learning designs for participating teachers, pre and post-evaluation procedures for the ATS2020 project as well as presentations on learning platforms for creating accounts (on both Mahara and Microsoft 365) were scheduled for day one.

Day 2

On the second day, at 11pm the Irish Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton arrived to speak with the partners about the project and its progress to date and to offer his support.

After the Minister’s departure, partners became involved in workshops on quality assurance and project evaluation guidelines and tools as well as presentations on the dissemination of project results (spreading the word), and a means of appropriately implementing the project. A presentation on the overall project management of ATS202 took place in the final hour of the partner meeting.

Skills4Work Nearing an End

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The Skills4Work project is funded by the Irish National Agency (Leargas) under the Erasmus + Programme and aims to improve work experience pathways for vocational education and training (VET) students across Europe by creating and validating a Work Based Learning implementation model, which incorporates working relationships between VET organisations and business. H2 Learning is the project coordinator.

What’s happening now?

The project was presented at the 3rd European Monitoring Conference NetWBL “Work-based Learning 2020” in Berlin in late June, 2016.

Currently, project partners are developing online work-based learning (WBL) Implementation Guidelines.

Project outcomes will be disseminated during the project launch conference in Dublin on the 12th of October 2016.

See more about the project here.