Professional development opportunities in Teacher- Education

Hi I am Dr. Mary George Varghese, Asst. Professor , MES Pillai College of Education & Research Mumbai
Lets us deliberate upon possible funding, research and international collaboration opportunities for Teacher-educators. We need to be aware of such international opportunities and disseminate and encourage people to make use of it to broaden our knowledge and experience.
Dr. Mary George

A warm welcome to the discussion Mary.
I think replies to your post have been a bit delayed because your topic does not really fit into any one of the sub-themes currently being discussed. Of course it is applicable to all of them and continuous staff development is a critical issue for ODeL. COL offers a number of MOOCs to assist and Tony Mays suggests that it might be useful to establish a Commonwealth ODeL Teachers Association portal, like the one Col has for the Commonwealth Open Schooling Association:

One of the COL programmes I have been involved with for many years is the Commonwealth Certificate for Teacher ICT Integration if participants are interested in teachers developing their digital learning competences. Please feel free to take the topic further

Hi, Dr. George @marypbaby
You raised a very interesting matter. I’m thinking of some of us here agreeing to develop and executive a research (maybe comparative) or an event toward solutions to one or two challenges being identified in discussions. That will be so great. Can we do it?

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Another great idea Chris. Should we short list some of the challenges?

I’ll be very useful.

Hi Ms. Janet
Thanks for the response.
Its wonderful that teachers can take part it such online and open learning forums. I think we have to take it forward and encourage more teachers to enroll and take active participation and get benefited.
Dr. Mary George

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Hi Mr. Udochukwu.njoku
Thanks for the response.
Its great if we could collaborate and do research. Its a wonderful initiative. Lets make it happen. please take the lead.
Dr. Mary George

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Perhaps I should start the ball rolling with the brain storm - here are some of the challenges that have been raised already in this Technology discussion:

  • access - the prohibitive cost of data and insufficient digital devices

  • lack of confidence of some colleagues to embrace an online culture

  • reluctance of some students to use social media for learning

  • Some institutions failing to adapt their existing materials/ assessment methods to appropriate online format

wondering if Chris @udochukwu.njoku and Mary @marypbaby might like to take this research collaboration further. I liked Chris’s idea of a comparative study.

I too agree research is an important component and comparative studies will be useful.

There are many areas which needs to be address like workload of faculty in HEI and Online platform, feasibility of updating the content, offering professional programs and quality, accreditation of HEI, professional development opportunities for faculty in ODL

Thanks, Janet @janet for brainstorming the challenges. Neerja @neerjasood, your supporting the idea and adding more of the challenges are a big boost. We’ll go ahead, I believe. Since most of the challenges are still conjectures, for there have been little documented data establishing them, I’m thinking we do a comprehensive investigation to find out which are specific to where and to what extent, as they relate to in-service teacher professional development .

A scan I did since this idea came up shows that much had been written about improving learning outcomes with ICT (just as we are emphasizing here and had always preached). Little had been done in proving what actually stands in the way of teachers in our curious march to integrate ICT in education. For example, teachers may not be as technophobic as we think. In one context, it may be unreliability of or no Internet connection that is the monster charging at them; in another context, it may be cost of connection and/or equipment; in some other places (especially at higher education level) teachers might not have received basic teacher training at all Also, what teachers think about teaching and how they practice teaching may be really incompatible with technology. Do we agree that use of technology will produce little benefit if teachers’ views of and approaches to teaching are wrong? Yet, no real attention had been paid to motivating and supporting teachers to value and learn best teaching methods/practices that naturally demand application of ICT and to acquire adequate skills for infusing ICT, not just using it . As one UNESCO project manager, Vosloo (2018) correctly observed, what teachers receive for integration of ICT had often been training in use of specific technology with poor professional development (PD) practices (like no practical application and follow-up) and overall PD needs are neglected. Can we generate data to back up all these and more?

Can we specifically survey the experiences and views of higher education teachers (and administrators?) in our countries in search of their particular setbacks and expectations for uptake of technology in enhancing their teaching and opening up education? Maybe the results and our recommendations will help us plan and implement other projects that will be effective in removing the setbacks?

I’m sorry if this post is long. Dr. Mary George @marypbaby, I hope you’re still available?

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Thank you for this point, so comprehensive and well expressed @udochukwu.njoku I too hope that @marypbaby is still available.

I would like to agree with you around teachers’ views being vitally important. Programmes that are soundly based on teachers’ needs and on lessons learnt from previous experiences, do pay attention “to motivating and supporting teachers”.

Furthermore, in my country there are certainly many examples of technology-driven programmes that include little or no consideration of professional development. It is now common wisdom that training teachers in computer literacy is ineffective.

As an interesting resource to this comparative research I am pasting a link to the Professional Development Framework for Digital Learning in South Africa:

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Sorry for the late reply.
It is very true that teachers are not much aware or well trained about the various technological tools which can assist them. Their are amble number of studies and documents available, but what we lacking here is, practical approach wherein teachers are getting trained and becoming techno-savvy.
I am sure 80% of teachers technology means power-point presentation, may be 45-50 % are aware of MOOC and OER, and may be 20% are aware of google classrooms or Edmodo or such platforms.
Now how do we go about with it?
How can we create Techno-Savvy Teachers for our Net- generations?
Thank you
Dr. Mary

No problem with the late reply - we are all very pleased you are still here Dr Mary @marypbaby Your points are absolutely correct. One possible source of professional development support for this exact issue is the Commonwealth Certificate for Teacher ICT Integration. There are 9 modules and are all related to different aspects - some being the more practical classroom focused approaches to PD that you are seeking Mary and some related more to changing mindsets. The content is freely available but easier to study if it is facilitated. However it is not a quick fix - rather it requires some serious commitment - but then doesnt everything that is worthwhile :grinning:

Hi Janet
That was very prompt. Can we take it ahead as a worldwide teacher-education Project under the banner of COL… ‘Creating Techno-savvy Teachers’
Dr. Mary

Mary baby is quite on course. “Techno-savvy” teachers are badly needed, maybe because despite that more and more teachers are getting computer literacy,.technology integration into education is still epileptic. Don’t you think there are factors preventing teachers from being techno-savvy or even taking action with the little digital literacy they get ? What are specifically those setbacks in Africa and some other developing regions that are having greater difficulty infusing technology into education than developed regions? That’s what we must find out. With evidences, not assumptions or estimation, effective solutions can be worked out, and then teachers can without hindrance make adequate use of any opportunities being created for them to be techno-savvy and be productive with their new skills. Can we launch this critical step first?

Sure.why not ??

Lets make an action plan and move forward.

We must work out on funding and proper outline and everything.

I am open and ready to move forward

Lets join hands and move ahead


I trust you, wonder baby. :clap: :clap: :clap: :sparkling_heart:
Is it OK to create an email list? Google Docs (or WhatsApp group?) for action plan, budget and funding sources?

Do we pass information to other discussions in case any more persons be interested?

Sure Chris.

Let all those academicians who are interested join and lets work together.

I am sure if we are in large number we can achieve many.

It would be real goal oriented work.



Great idea