I know I have been a little quiet of late. I am not one to be constantly posting on social media at the best of times but recently I have been even more absent.
The reason for this is that I am embarking on an exciting new chapter of my business. To do this, I have pretty much had to lock myself away from the world and get my head down.
I am still as passionate as ever about delivering Maths CPD but I have decided that I need to put my courses online.
There are several reasons for this:
- I have been getting lots of requests recently from schools to go and do training but it is just not practical for me to get to them in person. Maybe it means very long drives and overnight stays in hotels which just make the costs rack up.
- I have been speaking to schools I have worked with in the past to see how they are getting on and I hear things have slowed down due to lots of staffing changes. I trained the whole school but now only some of the staff remain, so they are trying to find the time to get everyone up to speed.
- Headteachers talk to me about the constant pressure and heavy workload they are facing and whilst they want to move forward with ideas, they don’t always have the time to create and deliver training for their staff and the practicalities don’t always allow for me to be there is person.
- Plus last year I think I spent more time in my car driving to and from schools than I did writing and developing new ideas so something has to give!
I have been contemplating online courses for a few years now but could never find the time to get them done so I decided this is the year to make it happen. The process started over the last few months as I have revamped my website and figured out all the technology to make it work (this was a pretty horrible phase with lots of swearing and calls to tech support!) If you have visited my site before you will notice this is a revamped site and I decided to go all out and change my logo while I was at it!
The biggest challenge has been working out how to move to an online version but not to lose the things I know work in my training. A lot of the last few months has been deciding what I don’t want to do! As the group learning model has worked so well for me in the past, I wanted to keep that aspect and didn’t want the courses to be done in isolation.
I thought about having courses for topics specific to teaching a particular level but let’s be honest, most teachers have such a wide ability spread in their class that they are teaching content from at least two CfE levels. So, I decided I wanted to create courses which have mini-topics covering aspects from across all primary levels.
After a lot of thought, I have decided to have a course which combines two aspects of training I believe in. There will be training to do together as a staff and then follow-up courses you can access on your own if you wish or get together with colleagues who also want to do it.
This is my plan for the first few topics and then I will review it and see how it is working. My initial focus is the big core topics as this is what I have been asked most about recently so the first four I am working on are:
- Number Sense and Place Value
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
Within each course, there will be a focus on mental maths strategies, the progression of skills, assessment and solving word problems.
One aspect I know is appreciated is to have lots of printable resources to back up the ideas from the course. I used to hate courses where they would give me a great idea but it depended on going home and spending hours making up a resource to be able to use it in class. I am committed to creating a huge printable resource library of everything you need within each course and only making use of resources which you most likely have in class or can buy really cheap at somewhere like the pound store!
I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Have any of you undertaken online CPD before? What did you love or hate about the experience? Do have you have suggestions about how I can format the courses to suit how you like to learn? What topics would you like to be added to my list for future development? Do you have any questions about it? Pop any comments below.
I am planning to add a new blog post once a fortnight with ideas and free samples of the courses as I write them so come back again to find out more.
Also there is an email sign-up for my newsletter below. I will be sending out a monthly newsletter with a list of new blog posts, notifications which I add new free stuff and updates on when the courses will be ready.
Wish me luck!