Teachers TV was funded by the UK government from 2004 to 2011 and developed an innovative 21st-century system for raising standards of teaching and learning by sharing good practice through broadcast-quality video. It was a modern converged service, using television, broadband and emerging mobile platforms to reach and influence many more teachers than traditional training methods can.
Over six years, Teachers TV proved itself a cost-effective solution to improving educational outcomes on a national and international scale. Teachers TV led the way in reflecting the latest thinking on how to transform the performance and aspirations of the teaching workforce. The Teachers TV model promotes a peer-to-peer approach to professional learning, rather than the more traditional top-down methods. It promotes reflective learning rather than knowledge-based learning. By harnessing the creative power of television it reaches hearts as well as minds. To achieve this, Teachers TV always reflected the highest possible broadcast-quality standards, and made best use of the latest digital technology to deliver content to teachers and educators. Research now shows that teachers are far more likely to trnsform their practice if they have the opportunity to see alternatives rather than be told about them. With over 3500 broadcast-standard videos sharing good practice available to stream and download around the world, Teachers TV is helping to raise standards on a global scale.
Reach and Impact
By 2010 Teachers TV was reaching on average 25% of the UK schools workforce every month and 60% of the schools workforce every three months. In 2009-10 the service recorded 17 million views amongst its target audience. This means that more than half of the schools workforce have been able to see inside the classrooms of others and benefit from shared good practice. No other professional-development initiative has achieved this degree of penetration. Teachers TV is also playing a powerful role in the training of new teachers with 90% reporting that they make use of it during their training and 60% of those responsible for training new teachers reporting that they make use of Teachers TV in their courses. (Official government data collected by Ipsos Mori) More recently, research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based on over 2000 respondents amongst UK users, showed that 75% of users implemented ideas they gained from Teachers TV, and that 51% identified gains in pupil outcomes as a result. When teachers are asked to rate individual programmes, the average approval rating is above 7 out of 10, and for the most popular programmes, strands such as ‘From Good To Outstanding’, 90% say that they have either implemented or intend to implement ideas from the programmes.
Although the current government halted the funding for Teachers TV in 2011, the entire archive is still available online. In addition the model has spread around the world. In 2010, with direct support from the UK team, Thai Teachers TV was launched and in 2011 Teaching Channel was launched in the US.