By Carrie Archer, Professional Development Coordinator/TEL Mentor
Further Education and Training Development Unit, City of Dublin Education and Training Board
I signed up to #OpenTeach for a number of reasons. Firstly, I am the newly appointed Professional Development Coordinator for the City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) and work as a Technology Enhanced Learning Mentor with many Further Ed teachers across our system. I wanted to see if this course would be a worthwhile course to promote to FET teachers in the future, so I signed up to critically analyse it and see if it was fit for purpose for our sector. Additionally, I teach a blended L7 certificate in TEL with NCI, working with FET practitioners, and wanted to improve my own approach to my virtual classrooms and to engaging students in asynchronous activities.
This course didn’t disappoint me. It was structured in a manner whereby there were varied and plentiful opportunities to engage with multilple interactive, diverse and collaborative activities. Discussion forums were filled with richness and reflections with responses from professsionals with varying levels of experience and from different sectors. This cross pollination prompted me to think more critically about my own responses, my ideas and contributions and consequently to my own practice. As a teacher on a blended course, #OpenTeach immediately impacted on my practice and I’ve already adapted activities to build on what I have learned from both facilitators and participants on the course. I have encouraged other FET teachers to register interest for the next iteration (fingers crossed!) and would love to be able to promote the course further, especially to staff teaching on blended programmes in CDETB. Time flew by and I wish the course had lasted longer, to allow me to be more immersed in the materials; to more deeply reflect on my own practice and learn even more from the many professionals I had the privilege of engaging with.