We’ve read a bit about more teachers using social media, social learning and online resources for their professional development, and were curious. ‘I saw an advertisement [for Open2Study] on a train,’ Sophie says, ‘And looked it up when I got home.’
As a teacher, Sophie is expected to complete, ‘20 hours a year of professional development, not including meetings, and a professional learning plan.’ She says Education in a Changing World provided her with four hours of development that she could study whenever she had the time during the four weeks that it ran. ‘It provided me with a new look at education, as I had never thought of education through the perspective of a sociologist.’
For Sophie, the main benefit of accessing professional development online is the flexibility. ‘I did some videos during school time, when I had planning periods, and the rest at home at night,’ she says. I probably looked at about three videos a day.
‘I didn’t really have a special place or time – just when I felt like it and had a free moment. I was happy I could sometimes get ahead with the course, as it made the rest of the course relaxing (as I wasn’t in a rush to get the assessments done).’
And what’s Sophie’s tip for someone about to start an online course? ‘Do it! There is no harm in signing up,’ she says.
‘Take some notes while you watch the videos and re-watch parts that you didn’t understand. Possibly try to get ahead if that is useful to you- you don’t have to wait for the next week to start if you are on a roll!’
Next for Sophie is, ‘Food, Nutrition and Your Health – I am doing this one as part of my personal wellbeing!’