Wurkbuk Teacher Assistance Programme

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Edtech experiences for teachers and students are so varied around the world. For example, in UAE government schools, there are online digital systems that every teacher and student has access to, with teams of curriculum specialists to provide resources and advise teachers on how to use them. On the other hand, schools in the UK are pretty much left on their own to decide and choose which technology to use, and teachers are left to create resources with little help. There are pros and cons to every approach, but for those that need support, it's the luck of the draw. It doesn't have to be. There should be some kind of place that struggling teachers can go to find the best resources to use, and get the best advice on how to use it. I want to do something about it...

"Nearly one in three teachers do not feel supported to implement online learning in the classroom, a new survey by YouGov suggests – with teachers over the age of 55 most likely to feel they cannot access enough digital training." edtechnology.co.uk

"Teachers do need more support on how to use the technology within schools. However, it needs to be more than how to operate the system. Teachers need ongoing support in using the technology to genuinely support what they need to teach and what students need to learn. We need to help technology support and transform learning, not use gadgets for gadgets’ sake."  Mark Chambers, CEO of Naace

"For the international schools that were surveyed, 41.5% said they experienced significant challenges delivering distance learning through technology during their campus closures." thepienews.com

These are just a few of the many quotes you can find online regarding issues about online learning. In person there are many more. In my early years as a department head, I came across a worrying number of teachers who were outright against using edtech in the classroom, and those that wanted to but just didn't know how. There is a lack of training, a culture of reduced budgets and pressure to look like you know what you're doing. My experiences were in the UK, but the issue is the same in many other countries. The main issue is that the students are getting the raw end of the deal here, and the digital divide is getting larger. This problem is not going to go away, unless we do something about it.

I made Wurkbuk to try and tackle the very issue that I have described above. This was my solution to make my teaching easier. However, tools are not enough. Training and time is needed, and high quality curriculum resources would be great.

So my proposal is to put together a coalition of teachers, experts, trainers, curriculum specialists to tackle the issue directly, or to come up with ideas to help. An independent organisation to help support teachers with learning technology. If anyone reading this is interested, please let me know. At the moment, the Teacher Assistance Programme (TAP) is what I'm calling this idea, but I'm open to suggestions. Contact me if you're interested in sharing your thoughts.

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