We know that teachers are the single most important school-based determinant of student learning. Despite this, millions of teachers globally are currently managing the changing nature of teaching and learning without effective teacher professional development (TPD).
We also know that, when used appropriately, technology can increase access to TPD while also improving teacher participation and engagement, resulting in the creation and application of new skills in the classroom. As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, we need to invest in practical ways to continuously and systematically improve teacher professional development. But with so many TPD programs available, how do we know which ones will have the most impact on as many teachers as possible?
To answer this question, HundrED, in partnership with the World Bank with support from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), launched The Teachers for a Changing World Spotlight, a global campaign to identify programs effectively using technology to enable teacher professional development at scale.
Over 400 teacher professional development programs from 80 countries applied to the project, making it the most successful HundrED Spotlight of all time. After a rigorous selection process, we were able to identify the top ten programs effectively utilizing low-or-high-tech solutions to engage, motivate, and support teachers.
5 Key takeaways on supporting teachers from the 10 selected innovations
- Design with the user in mind: If you want teachers to integrate your solution into their daily practice, you need to understand their context, their level of connectivity, and their digital literacy.
- Use existing technology, when possible: Think about you can get your solutions to teachers in a low-cost and accessible way. Do most of your teachers have access to a smartphone? If so, then think about how your solution could utilize that technology before investing in a pricey alternative.
- Give users options on how to access content: This is particularly important if your teachers are spread out across low-and-high bandwidth areas as they will require different options to access the content. Selected innovator, Global School Leaders, provided their teachers in low-bandwidth settings, modules delivered in-person, then staff followed up with principals via phone calls for further support.
- Train users on how to use the technology: This one might seem obvious but can not be overstated - technology can only improve learning outcomes if teachers are trained with the necessary skills to apply it.
- Ensure technology enables but does not drive teacher professional development: Start by asking yourself what outcomes you care about, then think about how technology can help you achieve them more effectively. It might not be a viable option for technology to replace in-person training or coaching, but it could be a great tool to support school communities remotely.
The 10 innovations selected for the Teachers for a Changing World Spotlight Project
|Comunidad Atenea, an initiative of the Varkey Foundation, Argentina -
A free social network for professional development of Latin American Teachers based on collaborative learning
|Inspiring Teachers: Peer Coaching Platform, United Kingdom - Helps schools and system leaders by harnessing peer coaching to give every teacher the support they need to go from good to great.
|LeadNow!, Kenya - Designed for low-tech and low-resource environments utilizes remote training and coaching tools to equip teachers with the new competencies and mindsets they need to support learner achievement and well-being in the face of ongoing system shocks.
|OneSky for all Children, China - Trains communities and caregivers through an innovative blended learning approach to provide nurturing responsive care and quality early education, unlocking the potential in vulnerable young children across China, Vietnam, and Mongolia.
|PerformEd, Egypt - Accelerates the productivity of learning by capturing authentic, real-time learning & providing instant feedback to teachers.
|ProFuturo Digital Education, Spain - An innovative digital education program promoted by Telefónica Foundation and ¨la Caixa¨ Foundation to narrow the education gap in the world by improving the quality of education for millions of children living in vulnerable environments of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.
|Puentes Educativos, Chile - Provides equal opportunities, deep learning, and local development through collaborative pedagogical practices, methodologies that promote the development of 21st-century skills and community participation.
|Teach2030, United Kingdom - Easy-to-use, easy-to-scale, contextualised digital professional development courses supporting teachers working in the most challenging settings in the world to teach better.
|Tu clase, tu país, Chile - A non-profit professional organization, enthusiastic about the revaluation of the teaching profession in Latin America, through a personalized, collaborative, professional development strategy, connected to the practice in the authentic context of performance and throughout life, which combines face-to-face and virtual learning experiences.
|Global School Leaders, India - Provides professional development to school leaders, blending on-site coaching, participatory workshops, and peer exchanges to transform the focus of school leaders from administration to improving students’ learning.
The 10 selected innovations will be featured in a report and a series of videos that will be promoted globally in the autumn of 2021. To learn more about the project and the selected innovators please visit: https://hundred.org/en/collections/teachers-for-a-changing-world