Facilitator pleased at prospective teachers’ competency in online teaching platforms

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 17, 2020) – Mr. John Williams, Education Officer in the Department of Education on Nevis, is pleased with the level of competency the first batch of prospective teachers for 2020 exhibited, with respect to training in the online teaching platform Microsoft (MS) Teams.

A section of prospective teachers at the opening ceremony of the two-week annual Prospective Teacher’s Course, 2020 at the Jessups Community Centre on July 13, 2020

The 19 participants who took part in the two-week Prospective Teachers Course 2020 from July 13th are the first on Nevis to be trained in the delivery of online instruction.

Mr. Williams facilitated sessions in online teaching over three days, instructing the candidates how to use Microsoft Teams as the principle virtual teaching platform, should they be selected to join the teaching workforce.

“At first they were introduced to and then taught how to navigate Microsoft Teams, one of the applications in the Microsoft 0365 suite. It was new to most of them but a few already had some exposure to the app.

“What we have is the education version of MS Teams, and I find they took to it quite easily. They were not new to technology and that was an advantage, so they were able to achieve most of the objectives rather quickly,” he said in an interview with the Department of Information on July 15, 2020.

The candidates were instructed on content management and creating assignments using different techniques.

Mr. Williams said the participants learned how the students would complete and submit assignments, and played the role of students during the sessions so they in turn they would be able to guide students through the process.

“We looked at grading assignments and student feedback and then the class notebook feature. They had activities throughout the sessions where they had to actually do assignments, and they were assessed and assisted throughout the process to ensure they were grasping the information.

“In addition to homework they had to complete evaluation sheets each day to identify things they needed to review and any other concerns,” he said.

Mr. Williams noted that the candidates were evaluated throughout the three days of virtual sessions and he was confident they were equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill to use Microsoft Teams as part of their teaching arsenal in the post COVID-19 era.

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