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

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.

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)


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.


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.