Curriculum vitae

ProfileA photo of Rena Penna

Over 10 years’ experience of teaching, training and materials development.  Proven excellence in team work, analytical thinking and achievement.  Proficient in many areas of educational technology, including both online and face-to-face educational environments.  Extensive experience working in geographically dispersed teams.

Key achievements

  • Product development: Successfully led teams in the development of the British Council’s large scale, 100% online teacher training courses using Moodle.  Courses have been accredited by Ministries of Education in Latin America, Asia and Europe and delivered to thousands of state-school teachers in these regions.
  • Innovation: Designed the technical infrastructure for the first British Council teaching centre in Europe to be fully equipped with interactive whiteboards and integrated teaching technologies.  The centre became a role model for other premises around the global teaching centre network.
  • Project management:  Managing all stages of product development on several high-profile British Council online teacher training products; budgets of around £50K without overspend; managing client expectations.  Maximised use of resources to reach or exceed stated training targets, whilst still delivering the products on time and to specification.

Skills

  • Proficient user of: e-learning platforms (Moodle, Blackboard); web development tools (Dreamweaver, Captivate, Photoshop); VoIP/Web conferencing tools (Adobe Connect, Skype, Interwise); office products (Microsoft, Mozilla, Open Office); teaching technologies (Promethean Activstudio, quiz authoring tools, blogs, wikis, etc.); Mac and Windows platforms
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills – communicates easily with technical and non-technical people, across all levels of hierarchy, from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds
  • Excellent presentation skills – comfortable giving high- and low-tech presentations, workshops and training sessions
  • Excellent spoken French
  • Excellent attention to detail

A selection of conference presentations & workshops given

  • Online teacher training and development; Starting, Stimulating and Sustaining Teacher Education and Development for English Language Teacher Educators (Conference); Hyderabad, India, 2011
  • Reaching further with TKT CLIL: Design, develop, deliver (co-presenter); IATEFL, England, 2010
  • Hornby Summer School (trainer); Russia, 2008, 2007
  • Get on board – training and supporting teachers using interactive whiteboards;  IATEFL, Scotland, April 2007
  • Mind the gap: what ICT skills do EFL teachers need?  IATEFL, Scotland, April 2007
  • The sage on the stage? Developing roles of teachers and learners in an online educational environment;  British Council ELT Conference, Germany, February 2006

Employment History

e-Learning Consultant

2010 – Present

British Council – Prague, Czech Republic

Business development – Contributing to the identification and scoping of new products in support of the British Council’s global strategy in English; supporting UK, regional and country-based teams in identifying project partners and suppliers
Project management – Course development and delivery for online teacher development courses for British Council offices globally including administrative oversight, pedagogic standards, marketing and promotion; reviewing and assessing training materials; identifying and training specialist teams of materials writers to produce materials to high standards
Consultancy and Support – Providing strategic advice to centres in rolling out corporate products; providing consultancy support on specific English products to British Council regions & countries
Financial planning and management – Maintaining and developing procedures and systems which support corporate compliance in financial planning and management; managing financial processes on SAP

Global Product Consultant

Oct 2007 – 2010

British Council – Prague, Czech Republic

Project management – Designed, developed and delivered online teacher development materials for worldwide use by teachers of English as a Foreign Language; promoted technology integration and learner-centred methodologies (online and face-to-face)
Consultancy and Support – Provided strategic advice to centres in rolling out corporate products; providing consultancy support on specific English products to British Council regions & countries
Financial planning and management – Managed budgets to corporate compliance in financial planning and management

ICT Exploitation Consultant

Oct 2004 – Sep 2007

British Council – Prague, Czech Republic

Project management – Designing, developing and delivering learning and development materials for British Council teachers of English as a Foreign Language; promoting technology integration and learner-centred methodologies; face-to-face intensive training sessions with/without online extension
Community development – Developed regional and global networks of ICT Co-ordinators; fostered and supported virtual networks to promote sharing of materials, knowledge and learning and development
Consultancy and Support – Provided ICT Consultancies to improve the integration and support of technology in British Council teaching centres throughout Eastern Europe, Russia, Turkey and Bangladesh

ICT Coordinator

Jan 2002 – Sep 2004

British Council – Prague, Czech Republic

Teacher training – Managed training for teaching staff transitioning to a new technology-rich environment with no recourse to “traditional” whiteboards after only one week of training; conducted training needs analyses; developed and delivered training sessions on use of a wide range of learning technologies
Teaching – Taught English as a Foreign Language to adults and young learners, including General English, Exam classes and Business English

Teacher of English as a Foreign Language

Sep 1999 – Sep 2002

British Council – Prague, Czech Republic and Cairo, Egypt; ESL Bell – Szczecin, Poland

Teaching – Taught English as a Foreign Language to adults and young learners, including General English, Exam classes and Business English; conducted student counselling sessions

Education

Master in Online Education 2004 – 2007

University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Achievement

Diploma of English Language Teaching to Speakers of Other Languages (DELTA) 2002

International House Prague, Czech Republic

Certificate of English Language Teaching to Young Learners (CELTYL) 2001

Bell School of English, Geneva, Switzerland

Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) 1999

Milner College, Perth, Western Australia

Professional development

  • Fast Track Digital Marketing; Econsultancy, UK November 2011
  • PRINCE2 Foundation Certificate; Czech Republic  February 2010
  • Moodle Administrator Training; Synergy Learning, September 2008
  • Managing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment; Spring IT Training, UK April 2004
  • Management Development; British Council, Italy November 2003