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Remote training for teachers: How our team are supporting schools during lockdown

Schools may have been closed for the last few months, but that hasn’t stopped our dedicated education trainers from supporting teachers. Our team have been delivering Apple Professional Learning for many years, but now it’s vital that teachers are able to use the Apple technology available to them to teach remotely.

 

Conal Siddall

With remote learning a new concept to many teachers across the UK, training teachers to use remote tools has never been more important. So, we sat down with one of our Professional Development trainers Graham Trick to find out more about how the team are delivering Apple Professional Learning sessions remotely.

 

What content do you cover in a typical Apple Professional Learning session?

“All of our training is bespoke to the needs of the school. There are three levels of training. Firstly, our survival pack, which is an introduction to iPad and the features that would be good for remote teaching or that connect with teaching in the classroom.

Secondly, you have sessions that cover accessibility features, typical classroom workflows and using the built-in tools to provide feedback. We host skills development sessions to create resources using Pages or using Numbers to create tables and even whiteboard spaces. Sometimes sessions are around Keynote for Movies, for example, screencasting presentations, adding audio and exporting them as a movie.

Finally, we’ve also been doing 1:1 curriculum planning sessions to really integrate iPad into the curriculum. We could be looking at humanities subjects, or the music curriculum, and developing ideas for when students are back in the classroom. The subject specific sessions are not really different from what we would do face to face, just done remotely.”

 

How have you been delivering remote training?

“We typically use Zoom to deliver our session using a Mac notebook, and I have an iPad as well to help demonstrate what I am teaching them.

It’s important to have a second device ready for a backup so you can have two screens in a Zoom meeting. One for video calling, one for screensharing. I also use a mouse so that people can see where I am pointing and what I am doing. They can see exactly where they would need to tap. I can also put a circle around the mouse using the accessibility settings on iPad, so it’s even easier to see what I’m demonstrating.

The person being trained would, where possible, have two devices as well, one to be in the session by video call and an iPad or Mac to follow along with the guided practice and demonstrations. It’s good having two devices because it’s practical, personal and hands on, they don’t need to leave Zoom to try out what I’m showing and it keeps the session flowing.”

 

Have you found it difficult to deliver training to the normal standards?

“No, it’s obviously different from being in the room, where you can help someone over the shoulder. But it’s also more of a personal experience because the numbers are smaller. In schools, we may have 20 people in a session, whereas on Zoom it’s 10 or less. In terms of feedback from customers, it’s really good. We’ve had a lot of new customers and a lot of current ones looking for remote training, so it’s been quite busy for us.”

 

What have teachers said about remote training?

“We’ve had positive feedback from teachers. Overall, the ideal scenario is face to face, but given the fact it’s impossible, remote sessions are a close second. In some cases, it can be a better option to do it remotely for the foreseeable future, as we’ve seen how it can work effectively and there are some cases where a face to face meeting is not needed.

In smaller group mentoring with people I already know, it’s easier to establish a relationship and deliver training over Zoom. When I don’t have that relationship, face to face training is much better to establish a rapport.”

Here’s a quote from an Apple Teacher from Derby whose school we’ve helped recently:

“Jigsaw training has been priceless through COVID. It has allowed all our Teachers and TAs to be trained up on the iPad basics and core apps ready for September. It has also helped 16 of our staff members to complete and achieve their Apple Teacher badge. The enthusiasm around technology is much higher in our team now as staff feel more confident about using an iPad in school.”

 

What have been the best outcomes so far?

“I think, looking at the schools who have a training plan in place, have taken onboard a different way of working, and are taking advantage of tools like Showbie and Microsoft Teams to hand out work, they’re doing really well. They’re really thinking about the mechanics at work behind the technology and how it can really support their teaching.

People need to think about the different types of lessons they’ll be teaching, whether it’s live with students active at the same time (synchronous), or the teacher sharing work and letting students complete it independently (asynchronous). Many schools are seeing great results keeping it simple.”

 

How can schools get Apple Professional Learning for their teachers?

“Talk to us about putting in place a long term training plan for the use of technology – think long term and not reactive. They need to consider the skills of their staff and whether they need simple online training or in-depth sessions to help technology fit into their learning strategies. I and my colleagues are ex-teachers, so we can advise on the different training methods and we’ve been through it all before.”

 

Get in touch to discuss training sessions on Apple technology. We can help your teachers learn how to use remote tools effectively for collaboration and most importantly, remote teaching and learning. Call the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For the latest news, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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