Prospective teachers trained to use virtual teaching platforms

John Williams, Education Officer in the Department of Education on Nevis, facilitator of the virtual sessions for the Prospective Teachers Course 2020.
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CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – Education Officer in the Department of Education on Nevis, John Williams, 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.

Nineteen teachers participated in the two-week Prospective Teachers Course 2020 from July 13, are the first on Nevis to be trained in online virtual teaching instruction.

Williams facilitated three-day online teaching sessions, instructing candidates how to use Microsoft Teams as the principle virtual teaching platform, if they are 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,” said Williams. “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. I find they took to it quite easily. They were not new to technology. That was an advantage; they were able to achieve most of the objectives rather quickly.”

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

“Participants learned how the students would complete and submit assignments, and played the role of students during the sessions,” explained Williams. 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 in which they actually did assignments. 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.

“Candidates were evaluated throughout the three days of virtual sessions,” said Williams. “I am confident they are 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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