The future of learning: establishing new teacher training models during a crisis

A talk by Helen Farmer
Head of Digital Learning, Teach First

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About this talk

Teach First is an educational charity that develops and supports teachers and leaders in England. In less than 20 years, it has placed more than 10,000 teachers in low-income areas, supporting more than one million children. In March 2020, Teach First engaged D2L with a view to launching new courses on the Brightspace platform for its Early Career Framework in September. However, events of spring that year altered the plan. It quickly became clear that the 1,700 new teachers set to undergo Teach First’s five-week Summer Institute in June/July would have to learn online.

Support staff would need insight into learner engagement, and to establish clear, comprehensive, and personalised learning pathways, that offered flexibility to trainees as they hoped to learn around their time spent teaching. This called for effective asynchronous learning delivery. D2L demonstrated its understanding of Teach First’s requirements by proposing an outcomes-based solution to meet all needs.

Teach First accelerated the transformation of its teacher training programmes to enable online learning during the COVID-19 crisis and provide blended in-person and online tuition long-term. The move inspired a whole new way for the team to create and deliver content and introduced an engaging learning environment for trainee teachers. Thanks to the close working partnership between Teach First and D2L, learners were accessing courses through the Brightspace platform three months ahead of schedule, with learner numbers rapidly scaling up to 10,000.

In this session, Helen Farmer, Head of Digital Learning at Teach First will cover this case study in detail, providing valuable insight into future digital transformation strategies for teacher training and delivery. Including:

• The difficulties presented by lockdown restrictions and the complexity of online learning environments • The solutions available to deliver effective online and blended learning programmes • How the pandemic has shaped teacher training programmes for years to come