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Professional Development & Support

  • Public
Last updated by Glen
 

Focus

Identify strengths and professional development needs of schools.

Explanation

It is important for the whole school community to participate in discussion about an LCO and the opportunities it may bring to their students and their school. This will help to enable a shared understanding, and support of the LCO development. It will also serve to raise expressions of interest from staff who are keen to participate as well as indications from some who may be reticent.

The implications of joining an LCO, both positive and potential negative factors, needs to be fully discussed. A stocktake of skills and expertise in the school, including positive attitudes about elearning should be taken to assist in targeting the skilled staff who can actively contribute to the LCO, taking into account the student needs already identified. This will also assist in tailoring professional development opportunities that best meet the needs of participating staff.

Action

Share with the schools, community, governance boards and teaching staff, a bigger picture overview of the elearning landscape and the role of LCOs. Include historical information, examples of current practice and stimulate discussion of the possibilities involvement in an LCO will bring. Invite contacts from other LCOs, the Virtual Learning Network Community or Ministry of Education to assist with the preparation, and/or, presentation and facilitation of discussions if necessary. Be wary of relying too heavily on the ‘outside experts’ - messages are much more powerful when shared by respected existing members of a school community.

  • When carrying out an audit of skills and expertise some things to consider are:
  • While technical skills may be useful, good teaching skills and a willingness to learn are the critical factors.
  • A survey of the teaching ‘scope’ and interests within schools often reveal hidden treasures or assets.
  • Invite initial indications from all staff who may be interested in participating, and explore opportunities for exposing them to examples of existing models.