Training for the future

11th May 2001 at 01:00
* "The translation of strategies and skills will take time to percolate down to classroom usage. But the debate is now universal and has moved from the narrow world of the ICT specialist to that of the classroom teacher. An early suggestion for future development is for greater subject-specific knowledge to be made available, indicating that teachers have begun to explore the boundaries of what is available and then defining their own needs. At a national level the Government needs to reinforce the whole programme, re-emphasising its profile and the expected outcomes. Above all, in the future it must maintain the momentum."

Trainer Ben Kelsey, CEO ICAA.

* "The challenge for Government is to ensure this is the start of an on-going professional development programme that helps teachers assimilate the new technologies and new pedagogies emerging as ICT enters the mainstream of classroom practice. The range of training providers, combined with strong central quality assessment, has provided a real choice for schools. We have learnt a lot about how to combine high quality centrally produced resources with face-to-face and online support. Simply publishing materials on websites is not effective."

Trainer Steve Bolingbroke, Learning Schools Partnership

* "Technology changes fast and the best teachers are always finding new ways that it can make a difference for their learners. There is always so much to know. We would like to see technology updates, best practice case studies and demonstrations regularly beamed broadband into schools (or mailed as DVDs) as part of a continuing professional development programme for teachers," Trainer Martin Littler, Chair of ICTS.

* "Schools need to be actively suported in acquiring networks that are adequate to the training task. Some LEAs' inability to ensure that schools have Internet access has undermined teacher commitment to the initiative. The majority of teachers are dedicated to their work and welcome funding for their own development, but not when it is a double-edged sword that cuts into both their professional and personal time. The time pressures facing teachers must be addressed. Partial use of a training fund for cover costs or 'out of hours' training incentives would ultimately be paid off by teachers' increased enthusiasm for the training and the increased speed by which it was completed. To provide further funding, without addressing the key issues of access, hardware and flexible training arrangements, will only result in lost, rather than new and exciting, opportunities."

Trainer Diane Fidler, Director of Distance Learning SFE.

* "The post-NOF period offers the opportunity to break down barriers between librarians and teachers and to build bridges because the expected outcomes have made clear what each profession has covered and should have raised skills and confidence level. After NOF there is a real chance of school librarians and teachers working in partnership. In the light of research from the US, there is now statistical proof that having school libraries staffed by qualified staff actually raises academic achievement, it would be nice to think that, for example, moves are made here to make school libraries, staffed by trained information staff, compulsory. Also, post-NOF there is a need to ensure that school librarians are included in initiatives such as the laptop schemes."

Trainer Carolyn Carter, Carter-Small Partnership

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