Professional Learning Blog from IRIS Connect

Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

If you have a topic you'd like us to cover or if you're interested in covering one yourself in a guest post, please contact us.

the ultimate buyer's guide to video professional learning


Kate Herbert-Smith

Kate's background in publishing has left her with a great love of thoughtful descriptions and inspiring stories. When she's not writing compelling blogs and case studies for us, she can be found devouring the latest best-seller or watching all manner of TED Talks. She has a growing appetite for video editing/storytelling, not to mention an unhealthy passion for all things Harry Potter and the uncanny ability to recite almost every single episode of the sitcom Friends.
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Recent Posts

Ofsted’s latest inspection changes explained

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 12 January, 2018

Here’s a summary of everything you need to know about Ofsted’s November 2017 inspection changes.

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What new year CPD resolutions should you make for 2018?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 3 January, 2018

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Why INSET days need to be more useful and how to plan one

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 8 December, 2017

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A good INSET day should be inspiring, useful, personalised and above all engaging. A day where teachers come together to discuss strategies for improvement, share their pearls of wisdom and focus on how to improve the learning experience for students.


Sadly, the reality is quite different...


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Evidence-informed practice, how important is it?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 21 November, 2017

There’s a growing interest around evidence-informed practice (EIP) and its links to effective continuing professional development. A combination of indicators clearly shows this growing movement and demand for evidence among educators. Such as:

  • Emphasis from the DfE on ensuring teachers are equipped with an understanding of the latest research, and use evidence to inform their teaching practice
  • The expanding profiles of researchED and The Research Schools Network
  • The launch of the Chartered College of Teaching
  • Expert guidance being provided by organisations like the Education Endowment Foundation and Institute for Effective Education

“Evidence-based practice is not ‘cookbook’ teaching or policing, nor should it be about prescribing what goes on from a position of unchallenged authority. It is about integrating professional expertise with the best external evidence from research to improve the quality of practice” -  J Sharples, Evidence for the Frontline

But, how important is evidence-informed practice and what challenges does it pose for schools embedding it within CPD and whole school improvement?

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5 tips for using video CPD in higher education

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 26 October, 2017

The tutors at VIA Health in Denmark, began using video CPD because they lacked a concrete tool for developing and qualifying their own teaching. They were finding it hard to find the time in their busy days to watch each other lecture, but with the help of video CPD, they have been able to see their own teaching from multiple angles and share specific situations. Allowing them to step back and reflect on their own teaching in a completely new way.

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Happy World Teachers' Day!

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 5 October, 2017

Everyday, around the world teachers are doing amazing things to enrich the lives of their students. Help us to celebrate and remember the very best educators around the world by letting us know who you remember and why. Share your stories, pictures and messages about your favourite teachers and the best advice they gave you, in the comments below.

In the meantime, find out which educators have inspired us over the years:

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