As a college lecturer, it’s about this time of year that I get to go on training courses. Increasingly students need activities and support from new technology and can't cope with just lectures. But this requires skills and time. We do have staff development days at college every now and again. But it’s much better to get out and do something organised by others.
This time I’ve been to a training day at Manchester that was not just about teaching tips but also specific to my subject - psychology. I came away from Want To Be A Brilliant Psychology Teacher with a CD of presentations and resources for activities with lesson plans a bit like a cook book. Because they are all on disc I can modify them as I see fit. But if short of time there are some things that I can just use as they are. Wow!
And at the same time over the next few weeks I am doing an online course that is teaching me how to design online courses. Well, at least produce support material for my classes online using an application called Moodle. It actually produces an online environment where students can chat and discuss the material, access material and take online tests.
An increasing part of being a teacher is to update knowledge and skills. To this end all college lecturers are now part of the Institute For Learning and have been given a disc which among other things helps us to keep track of our continual professional development. So I better get working on that.