Using video technology to support teacher development in Thailand
By using the IRIS Connect professional development programme, Film Club, The British Council is successfully training staff and supporting teacher development in English as a foreign language across the country.
With English seen as central to economic development across ASEAN, combined with evidence that English proficiency in Thailand falls behind comparable countries, the Thai Government initiated fundamental reform of English teaching, including a commitment to provide 3-week intensive training to all English teachers. The MoE contracted the British Council to provide this in-service training for 15,000 Thai primary and secondary teachers of English. To ensure the training translated into sustained engagement and impact on classroom practice, the British Council commissioned IRIS Connect to pilot the use of a video-based e-mentoring system at scale to support teacher development.
How IRIS Connect helped
Teachers underwent a three-week INSET course in Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) at the Regional English Training Centres (RETC). For the pilots, 10 mentors/e-moderators worked with 560 teachers to provide blended online and face-to-face mentoring. An IRIS Connect professional development programme called Film Club, was tailored to the local Thai context of the Thai teachers, enabling reflection and collaborative learning.
As part of the British Council’s Education Gateway tender process, IRIS Connect was selected as a potential partner to work collaboratively on British Council projects. This enabled the British Council to quickly sub-contract with IRIS for RETC, which saw the British Council deliver training and manage the mentors/e-moderators, while IRIS Connect supplied the technology and the Film Club framework for the video-based approach to professional learning.
Despite initial resistance to new video-based methods of learning, the project received high levels of participation and demonstrated real impact. The collaboration between IRIS Connect and British Council showed that video technology, combined with discussions through the Film Club model, can be used at scale to help teachers to collaborate with colleagues, develop reflective practise and build a shared understanding about what really works in the classroom.
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Teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources. As well as share easily with each other to make collaboration simple, organised and effective.
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