Instructure, the creator of the Bridge and Canvas virtual learning environments (VLE), has announced the release of Canvas Practice for primary and secondary teachers. Practice provides an effective, scalable solution to train and support high quality teachers.
Practice creates a low-risk environment for every teacher to develop both competence and confidence, regardless of phase, subject area, or style of pedagogy. The web video-based professional development tool gives teachers the opportunity to ‘learn by doing’ and receive timely, meaningful and actionable peer and expert feedback as part of continuing professional development (CPD).
Dr Philippa Hardman, Director of Learning at Proversity, which develops personalised, own-branded mobile learning apps for partners, commented on the launch: “Currently, a lot of education is still rooted in dumping information on learners and then asking them to regurgitate it when tested. But learning that sticks with you comes through experience and that a key part of this is practice – working in structured and supported cycles of doing, reflecting, then doing again. This is why Instructure is launching Practice is exciting – it promises to facilitate this approach to learning and help educators grow and develop, ultimately having a positive impact on student achievement as a result.”
Wolsey Hall Oxford, one of the longest established homeschooling colleges in the world, is set to act as a launch partner for Practice, being among the first institutions to use the platform in the UK to further their offering across Primary, Secondary, IGCSE and A level. Wolsey Hall offers courses to students in over 90 countries.
The cycle of use for Practice is formed of four key stages. Firstly, teachers learn a new skill by doing, practising instructional delivery skills and teaching methodologies before sharing a video of this in action – for example, delivering a subject-specific plenary. Next, fellow teachers assess one another’s videos where they give and receive feedback. Teachers then watch best practice videos and self reflect on their own practice. Finally, teachers receive feedback from mentors and coaches, helping to widely share the specific expertise and skills of top teachers.
Recent figures from the Teacher Development Trust have concluded that despite the essential nature of continued training and development in ensuring that teachers are able to deliver high quality education, over 20,000 teachers work in schools where there is no budget for continued professional development at all.
Kenny Nicholl, General Manager, EMEA at Instructure, said: "Without quality teaching, it is simply impossible to increase student achievement, yet too often personal development and training end up being tick box exercises at best, or not happening at all. We have great teachers not being given the opportunity to develop, but to pull off effective CPD programs you need a huge amount of time, money, and people.
"Practice applies technology to better use peer and expert feedback and self-reflection, removing barriers and giving schools the opportunity to mimic online what would be done in face to face CPD sessions or through teachers taking time to observe classrooms. This means schools and groups of schools can scale up their ability to offer more frequent meaningful training at a lower cost point. "
Canvas Practice is a seamlessly integrated element of the Canvas Learning Platform, a set of cloud-based online learning solutions including Canvas, Instructure's open online VLE for schools, colleges and higher education that makes teaching and learning easier.