Today, many school principals are looking at upskilling their staff and are faced with the question:
What training experience is the best approach for our workplace? Online or face-to-face – which one to choose?
While there are many benefits for both professional development approaches, the truth is that face-to-face works best for individuals who thrive in social interaction. However, for school principals wanting to involve the whole school this may cause problems as there are many different learning styles that their staff may have.
Face-to-face teacher PD may appear to be recognised as a “real way” of learning, but online learning has key benefits that school principals can adhere to such as allowing for the different learning styles of staff. Online courses offer participants the chance to learn at their own pace and consume the content of courses in a method that many prefer to use – on the Internet.
Another factor to consider is the cost-effectiveness of the two approaches. There is more to just social interaction that makes an effective PD for teachers. Online learning enables school principals to observe the actual level of participation each teacher is putting in to the course itself. For example, by enrolling themselves as a participant they can observe teacher input and make comments to help guide their staff in their professional learning.
Online professional learning for teachers also helps to reduce the cost of teacher training for school principals as there are no costs such as facilitator travelling and hiring costs involved. This dramatically cuts the cost down for schools and school principals can enrol large number of staff in teacher training.
Online professional development is also more effective as it requires more self-discipline. As a consequence, you actually learn more! There is no teacher trainer watching you, you need to ‘watch yourself’.
As you may already be aware, schools and their staff run on a schedule. Time is a valuable commodity so to know that you can set your own schedule and waste no time on commuting is gold.
Blended learning involves the best of both teacher training formats with the only real main con of it being ‘lack of motivation’. As a school principal, this is something that you can easily get on top of by participating yourself and like discussed earlier, observe and comment on teacher interactions. Spur them on a little at a time!
It allows you to bring large groups into teacher PD and reduce your costs on staff training at the same time.
The choice is up to you. So consider the many benefits that our accredited online courses can offer you and your staff today.
Completing this course will contribute to 5 hours of TQI registered PD addressing 2.5.2, 2.6.2 and 3.4.2 of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient teacher accreditation in the ACT and Victoria.