As education systems around the world continue to adjust to online learning due to Covid-19 outbreak, Qatar Foundation (QF)’s Education Development Institute (EDI) has launched a platform that enables school teachers from across the country to work together in the digital sphere to improve student outcomes.
“Educators are having to pivot rapidly from face-to-face teaching to distance learning in order to continue providing quality education to students,” explained Joanna Moe, assistant director, Learning and Teaching, EDI. “Therefore, teachers need to learn new skills quickly and have access to other educators who can share ideas and support their learning.”
While the platform – PU e-LEARNING SITE – was designed and launched by EDI, it is entirely powered by educators, and is designed to encourage teacher-to-teacher learning.
The platform, offering pages in English and Arabic, can be accessed by all K-12 educators, and any visitor can suggest a learning resource, with the EDI team assessing all contributions.
Through the online space, educators are invited to share examples of effective educational practices and useful resources to help other users acquire the knowledge and skills to plan and deliver quality online learning experiences.
Teachers are then able to find information quickly, get new ideas and draw inspiration from others.
“The site is very much an educator led platform, and it will depend on where they take it and what the engagement is. Ideally we would like it to be a model of cross school collaboration that will be sustained beyond the crisis and used as a model by other groups of schools,” says Vanessa Miller, lead trainer, EDI, in charge of co-ordinating the PU e-LEARNING SITE.
“Peer learning and collaboration are known to be strong professional learning strategies, and in Qatar Foundation alone we have many quality educators who can share their knowledge, experience and best practices with other teachers. Members of the EDI team are responsible for different pages, and assessing the recommendations from educators – so, it isn’t just a list of suggestions, rather it is a collection of resources that are actually helping other educators.”
Heidi Beeman, lead teacher, Qatar Academy Doha (QAD), explains how the platform has been useful, saying: “During our abrupt transition to distance learning, the EDI site, with its guidance and teacher submitted resources, has proven to be invaluable.
“Not only does it showcase Qatar Foundation’s knowledgeable and resourceful educators by providing a platform for their tutorials, it also provides helpful tools for staff.
“For example, Duaa al-Bitar’s screencast explaining Google Forms was the perfect introduction for QAD’s fifth grade teachers as they learned how to remotely assess their students,” concluded Beeman.
For more information, or to access the platform, one can visit https://sites.google.com/qfschools.org/edi-public-gsite/professional-learning-resources-for-educators.
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