Online CPD courses to boost global teaching skills

Online CPD materials, created by Best Practice Network, now available to educators via the Canvas VLE

Teachers and leaders across the world can now access the latest professional development courses online thanks to a partnership between UK education training provider Best Practice Network, software company Instructure and the British Council. 

A suite of online CPD materials, created by Best Practice Network, is being made available to educators via the Canvas virtual learning environment (VLE) from software company Instructure.

The initiative forms part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Programme and is designed to help teachers and leaders improve their skills in areas such as digital literacy, critical thinking and problem solving so that they can help their pupils thrive in the global marketplace of the 21st century.

Over 15,000 teachers and school leaders in schools across the globe are expected to be using the system within three years, the British Council says. The system started rolling out in October with over 2,000 active users across 39 countries, including India, Malaysia and Nigeria.

Neil Williams, Senior Project Manager at the British Council, said: “Core skills are the essential skills young people need to be fully prepared for life and work in a global economy. The training packages that are being made available to teachers and leaders through this CPD platform will introduce them to new interactive approaches and techniques while helping them to develop practical activity plans for use in the classroom.”

The training packages that are being made available to teachers and leaders through this CPD platform will introduce them to new interactive approaches and techniques while helping them to develop practical activity plans for use in the classroom

The CPD platform contains seven training packages that can be accessed by individuals on demand or taken by groups at set times. The content has been designed to work on a range of different devices, particularly mobile phones and tablets. 

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The modules cover topics such as deep learning skills, collaboration and communications, critical thinking and problem solving, digital literacy and student leadership. The platform makes it possible for the materials to be presented using a range of methods. These include video and audio, peer discussion and automated assessment, which makes it possible to offer these courses to large numbers of people. 

Colin McLean, chief executive of Best Practice Network, said: “We share the British Council’s desire to support educators across the globe as they prepare young people for their future in a rapidly changing and challenging world.

“We have already partnered with Instructure to deliver our CPD materials to over 2,500 school leaders across the UK using the Canvas virtual learning environment so this experience has been invaluable in the development of the system for the British Council Connecting Classrooms Programme.” 

Vice President of International at Instructure, Heather Kane, said: “Our previous work with Best Practice Network in the UK shows that Canvas is ideally suited to providing professional development. We believe that easy-to-use, robust and adaptable VLE platforms are at the heart of learning in the modern world, whether it’s in a primary school student taking classes in the UK or a school leader undertaking CPD.

“With its open API, Canvas is built to be flexible. It’s the ideal platform to meet the different and rapidly changing needs of educators internationally. Giving school leaders and teachers across the globe access to the latest professional development courses through Canvas will change their and their students’ educational landscapes. We are proud that Instructure is involved in this initiative.” 

www.CanvasVLE.co.uk 

www.bestpracticenet.co.uk

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