Recording CPD online
The new e-portfolio is just a click away…
This August, Scotland’s educators will be working with a revised suite of Professional Standards. These standards will help teachers plan their learning as part of the Professional Update process, currently being piloted in three local authorities and an independent school. One of the new Standards is that of Career-Long Professional Learning, developed for teachers who choose to reflect against this standard to support their professional learning.
The 2011 Donaldson review of teacher education in Scotland recommended that an online portfolio should be made available for education professionals to record their CPD achievements. With this strong focus on continued learning in Professional Update, the e-portfolio will not only allow teachers to record what they’ve done, but reflect on how this links to the new suite of Standards as part of the Profession Review and Development process.
“We’ve developed an online portfolio so that teachers can record their professional learning, they can reflect against the appropriate Standard, they can reflect on what the impact of their learning is and use that to support the Profession Review and Development process,” says GTCS Head of Educational Services Gillian Hamilton. “We’re really keen to demonstrate that CPD is not just about courses; professional learning is much wider than that. Professional dialogue with colleagues, sharing practice, things you’re doing in class – the profile allows you to record all of that. By building the Standards into that, we’re linking reflection against the Standards into professional learning.”
At present, GTC Scotland is piloting the online profile through MyGTCS, with teachers from Perth and Kinross who are taking part in the pilot of Professional Update trialling the service. As one of the aims of Professional Update is not to burden teachers with extra admin work, local authorities that already have online CPD profiles are using these to record their professional learning.
“We’re working really hard to make sure we wouldn’t be asking teachers to duplicate,” Gillian explains. “In the pilot programme, Perth and Kinross weren’t recording online prior to the pilot, but the two other authorities in phase one, North Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire, already had online profiles in place. They’re continuing to use their existing profile and will complete the Professional Update sign off through that. You can see we’re not asking teachers to complete two profiles.”
The MyGTCS profile is linked to teachers’ registration numbers, and the content will follow them throughout their career, even if they move jobs. The initial feedback from the pilot schools has been positive, with teachers commenting on the ease of use of the programme. Gillian adds: “It’s a straightforward profile, and the teachers are telling us it’s really easy to use. I was doing a session at a school recently to introduce the profile to teachers who are involved in the Professional Update pilot. By the end of the day, I’d had an email from one of the CPD coordinators to say that at least three teachers had already been online, set up accounts and were saying how easy it was to use.”
GTCS’s e-portfolio will soon be available to schools involved in the second phase of Professional Update, with a target nationwide launch of August. Head to www.gtcs.org.uk for the latest developments.
Teachers’ Resource Summer 2013