Learning resources are crucial for both teachers and students. It is a part of the teaching-learning strategy and provides teachers with valuable information on various topics. It keeps them updated with relevant information and helps in their professional development. Teachers need to update their knowledge from time to time because the quality of teachers is the most important factor in determining the effectiveness of school systems. Teachers can use various learning materials, for example, some schools provide institution-specific learning resources for teachers. Examples of such resources include inclusion policy documents, assessment procedures, or information for new teachers. Other schools have a collection of books and journals on the professional development of teachers. Teachers can use these resources to know how they can improve themselves and contribute to the learning process of their students. In addition, online resources are also available for teachers.
In addition to books and journals, new teachers can also learn a lot from experienced teachers. Expert educators are also considered valuable learning resources for new teachers. Moreover, teachers can also learn from their students if they are open to reflective teaching. They can use students' feedback to improve their knowledge and teaching skills.
How can teacher educators use the learning resources?
Teacher educators are considered the epitome of learning and knowledge. While recommending or preparing learning resources for new teachers, they need to consider the factors mentioned below.
- Teachers’ profiles, including their work experience and what subjects they teach
- The learning needs stating why and how teachers want to improve
- The expected outcome, including the behavioral changes
Learning resources are not only a source of information, but they also help in the professional development of teachers. It can be used by new and experienced teachers to co-construct knowledge. In addition, these resources can be used in training new teachers. Resources like feedback forms, observation sheets, and action plans can be used to improve teachers’ productivity in the classroom. Moreover, these resources give them insight into the teaching methods.
How to select the best learning resources for teachers?
Teachers use the learning resources available online and offline to expand their knowledge base and add to their existing skills. Moreover, they may develop new resources. To select the best resources, teachers need to consider the points mentioned below:
- Use the existing resources as they are
- Adapt it to suit the requirements
- Replace it with more valuable resources
Teachers can use the learning resources for their benefit, or they can recommend these materials to other teachers. Also, they can use it in a training or workshop, or as a part of mentoring processes. However, before deciding on the usage of these study materials, teachers need to know about the selection criteria of these resources. Some of the crucial factors that will help them select the best resources are:
Audience and relevance
Some questions that teacher educators may ask themselves before selecting learning resources are:
- Who is the audience for the selected resources?
- Are the available resources aligned with the teaching context?
- Will it raise professional standards?
- Are the learning resources easy to understand?
- Will it keep them engaged till the end?
Some of the questions that teachers may ask themselves include:
- How do the selected learning resources help in professional development? Will it serve the purpose teachers want to achieve?
- Are the resources suitable for teachers with different learning preferences?
- Is the content segregated into different parts according to the preferences of the teachers?
- Is the content suitable for teachers with special learning needs?
Ease of use
Some questions that may help teachers understand the accessibility of learning materials are:
- Is the content free for all teachers?
- Does it require a secured online connection?
- If it is online learning material, is it easy to download?
- Does the content require pre-registration?
Accuracy and authority
Some questions to ask before selecting the online or offline learning resources are:
- Is the content updated with relevant information?
- Is the learning material biased?
- Does it provide accurate and to-the-point information?
How to organize learning resources for teachers?
Developing a system to store and retrieve the learning materials is a good idea. Teachers can store the offline learning resources in files. Likewise, online learning materials can be downloaded and stored on an electronic device. Moreover, cloud storage is also beneficial to store such materials. Also, these resources can be shared in the teaching communities to help the maximum number of teachers at a time.
Learning resources are great to help teachers in their professional development and update them with relevant information. Therefore, choosing the best resources is a crucial decision. Spend time wisely before selecting a learning resource for personal and professional development.
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