Teachers in the Tees Valley and County Durham are now able to sign up to free digital skills training – technical and creative – following some quick thinking by Teesside University as part of its comprehensive response to Covid-19.
The Digital Skills for Growth programme was due to run as physical events but is now being offered as a series of online accredited courses for primary and secondary school teachers – as well as non-teaching staff – from 20th April to 24th June. The eight different courses span a combination of half-day and full-day sessions meaning that teachers and other school staff can immediately sharpen up their professional development in areas such as coding, digital marketing, and arts for games and film. There are also courses available in data visualisation, developing personalised business intelligence solutions with Microsoft POWER BI, making sense of digital business, and web production.
The programme is part-funded by the European Social Fund and delivered by the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies. University colleagues at DigitalCity, funded from the European Regional Development Fund across Tees Valley, will also provide a mentoring service to Tees Valley learners to help their employers gain maximum benefits for their upskilling.
Teachers who complete the short accredited courses will receive a University Certificate in Professional Development in Digital Skills Qualification. Through the programme they will also get a six-week lesson plan to take back to school and deliver immediately to their pupils.
“Given the unprecedented situation we have adapted our project for the immediate short-term and changed the way we are going to be delivering some of our accredited courses so that everything is online,” explained Siobhan Fenton, the School’s Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement).
“Whilst we understand that teachers are extremely focused at this time, the bespoke training will help to address the digital skills gaps and teacher training needs in the region that were identified by schools and we wanted to deliver against our original promise to help them. The programme presents a fantastic opportunity for teachers to future-proof their digital skills at this time. Importantly there is no charge for the courses.
“The world in which we work, live and play is clearly changing and we need to keep up with technology in all aspects of our lives. Digital technology, particularly artificial intelligence and data analytics, has introduced revolutionary changes in every sector to enhance efficiency, increase productivity and reduce costs. Arguably this is going to be even more important once the coronavirus pandemic has passed.”
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