England gets new a coach!

This isn't actually about football,but it made you look, didn't it?

Now that we have your attention, think about this. Have you ever had a question about how to use a piece of technology in school? Have you ever tried to look online for a really great technology-rich learning activity to use with 27255.jpgyour class? Do you ever find that when you have a question about using technology in your teaching, you can't get an answer when you need it?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you're not alone, and we may have help. Coaching and mentoring are two terms that are being thrown around a lot in UK education these days. Many local authorities provide mentors for newly-qualified teachers, and organisations like the SSAT offer courses in coaching. And, let's be honest, almost every teacher acts as a coach at some point in his or her career - it's just what you do.

Microsoft has something a bit different to add to the coaching repertoire in the UK. Our Peer Coaching curriculum, which is currently being used in 44 countries around the world and was a finalist in last year's Stockholm Challenge awards, is - surprise, surprise - technology focused. It trains teachers to be coaches who can help other colleagues in their schools integrate ICT into classroom learning activities and improve lesson design. Once a teacher is trained to be a coach, he or she works with a number of teachers each year to train them as well, thereby creating a support system for all teachers in the school who want to get better at using ICT in their teaching.

This week, we're holding our first training for the facilitators in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These are the folks who will work with local authorities or partners to train coaches over the course of the next year.

If this sounds even remotely interesting to you, I encourage you to go to the Peer Coaching section on the Innovative Teachers Network to learn more about it. We're looking for schools and teachers who want to be involved in this programme, and we will be holding trainings for coaches over the course of the next year. This is your chance to get involved!

Feel free to contact Stuart or me if you have any questions.

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