Design Management and Innovation track
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the closure of schools and the transition to remote learning, many teachers had to adapt to the changes and acquire new technological skills in order to keep teaching and communicating with their students. The plethora of new educational technologies left many of them overwhelmed and helpless, unable to select or determine what suited them or the subject matter they taught.
The existing professional development system poses multiple challenges, the most important of which are related to the multiple authorities involved in the process. This hampers the strategic process of drawing up plans tailored to the teachers’ specific needs and the provision of appropriate resources. Also sorely lacking are individual multiannual professional development programs that match the needs of every teacher and their career stage. Finally, the absence of indicators for the effectiveness of professional development and quality evaluation of development processes in the field restrict the ability to establish a high-quality development system.
My study focused on the teachers, whose work environment is undergoing an accelerated process of development and change. Based on the insights that emerged in the course of my research, I defined several design principles that guided me in the development process: (1) Mapping the existing knowledge and the knowledge the teacher needs to acquire and wants to expand; (2) Tailoring the learning contents and teaching method to the teacher; (3) Breaking teaching down into micro-skills; (4) Teachers’ control of the speed of and approach to learning; (5) Encouraging participatory learning out of a school community of teachers and students; and (6) Creating a support network that includes individual coaching of teachers in their first classroom experience.
These principles led me to develop Skills-Ed – a digital platform that supports the teachers’ professional development and ongoing learning process, which creates a community that is networked in both virtual and school space. The platform enables the teachers to form new relations and collaborations with other teachers and students.