Portretfoto van Amber Walraven
Portretfoto van Amber Walraven

Teacher Tapp: 'Rather talk with teachers than talk about'

"Well, I tweet quite a lot." Amber Walraven, associate professor at the Radboud Teachers Academy, tells how she came across the English app Teacher Tapp. "I saw it passing by and thought how fantastic it would be to have something like that in the Netherlands too!" It succeeded. Meanwhile, Walraven is running Teacher Tapp on a daily basis. Although the app is primarily aimed at primary education, secondary education and vocational education, Walraven is happy to explain why the app can also be relevant for university teachers.

Three questions daily 

Teacher Tapp exists since June 2020 and asks you three questions about your teaching practice every day. It ranges from light-hearted questions, such as: 'What is the highest temperature you have measured in your classroom in the past week?' to questions about your vision as a teacher. Consider, for instance, 'How important do you think it is to be aware of insights from science in order to use that knowledge to improve your teaching (evidence-informed working)?' And also practical questions about what does or does not work in education are addressed. 

Giving teachers a voice  

Walraven: "With this app, we want to give teachers a voice. There is a lot of discussion about teachers and education, but very little with teachers. Policy officers often voice all kinds of things, but how nice is it if we can ask teachers themselves how they experience it? Teacher Tapp makes that possible in an accessible way." 

Where do you position yourself? 

"Teachers themselves say that they also find it super fun to see where they stand. In the app, you see the results of the previous day on a daily basis. So you can immediately check where you stand compared to other teachers," says Walraven. "In addition, the questions also 'force' you to reflect: what do I actually think about this? So you learn about your professional identity while answering the questions."   

"On the Teacher Tapp site, you can see all the results and read a weekly blog about them. We also share a daily reading, watching or listening tip and we often link the questions to research on education. For example, one time we asked about how you give feedback. Then afterwards, we share a survey on giving feedback effectively as a reading tip." 

Teacher Tapp and academic education   

Walraven brought the app to the Netherlands as part of Expedition Lerarenagenda, which focuses mainly on primary, secondary and vocational education.  Yet she also believes it has added value for university teachers. "Even in academic education, teachers want to keep developing. And I think it's good for every teacher to occasionally reflect on why you do the things the way you do and whether colleagues are going through the same thing."   

Teacher Tapp helps you gain insight about that. "Whether this is about discussions from higher education (taking lectures or not, having a permanent or temporary contract, etc.) or more cross-sectoral aspects of being a teacher, such as contact with colleagues and/or students. 

Sector-specific questions   

"Sector-specific questions is something I would like to see more of in the future, although we are already experimenting with it," Walraven says. She stresses that you can already see the results by sector in the blogs, and that there are occasionally questions that are related specifically to higher education. "I would be very happy if Radboud lecturers also share their questions. The sooner we have a pool of questions specific to higher education, the faster this group of users grows and the more fun it is to compare yourself with colleagues. So please do join in and recommend the app to colleagues!"   

Participate yourself  

Download Teacher Tapp and answer the questions daily.   

Do you have a question for fellow teachers (in higher education)? Then share it here

View the results in the app and read the blogs on the website.   

Teacher Tapp is completely anonymous! 

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