Thursday, August 27, 2009

Professional Development

In our programme of in-service training we tried to meet the needs of the department and the teachers by designing training sessions that would fit for both needs. During the last few
days we were having one of these sessions. It is entitled "Innovative online tools for professional development." The session was designed to fit the following needs of the department:
1.To train English language teachers on online tools.
2.To raise the level of teachers performance by opening cultural contacts through their involvement in different ' communities of practice'.
3.To train teachers in introducing online tools and virtual environments as an alternative to the limited teaching hours.
And the following needs of the teachers;
1.To be able benefit from the advantages of web 2.0 tools in enhancing their teaching.
2.To develop professionally.
3.To be able to navigate the internet with more confidence and add their own content.
As the head of the department I was faced by two major issues. The first was to raise enough funding and find a location to hold the workshop in. After a lot of running around and writing letters, we were able to have the permission of the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences to use one off their computer labs free of charge and to raise enough funding for conducting the workshop.
We invited Hala Fawzi one of the very few online instructors in Sudan to carry on the training. With some extra spaces left we invited five teachers from other universities to attend with us the workshop. Hala Fawzi created a wiki as a platform for the workshop. The workshop continued for three days. The fourth and last day of the workshop we invited another instructor to talk about the University web classes and then I gave a short presentation on techniques of surfing the internet. A questionnaire was carried out to evaluate the workshop.
I feel very happy and satisfied now when I hear the teachers at the department talking about blogs and wikis, and some of them are now thinking of including some online tools in their teaching. So meeting their needs was the key for the success of the workshop. It is not just including technology that is important but training that is targeted to common goals.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Building Success

'Building Success' is the title of a post in my blog at TeachingEnglish. It was on the editor's choice blog for three weeks now.