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</The IoC, Cisco and OU team up to ‘Teach the Teachers’>

Published on 30 September 2019 by web editor

Case Studies

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The Open University logo

Bridging the digital skills gap starts with great teachers. But some teachers struggle to find time to focus on professional development. The Institute of Coding (IoC) has teamed up with Cisco, via the Open University (OU), to give teachers free access to the OU’s online learning platform. So far, over 4,000 teachers have signed up to the courses offered by this partnership.

Growing the digital workforce starts in the classroom before students reach higher education, so we’re finding new ways to engage teachers to make sure they have the technical knowledge they need to support and inspire students. 

The IoC is a growing consortium of government, industry, higher education and outreach partners. Cisco, one of our industry partners, has worked with the OU, one of our higher education partners, and used IoC funding to support teachers using a virtual Cisco Academy.

The academy is run by the OU, who currently operate the largest Cisco Academy Support Centre (OUASC) and Instructor Training Centre in the UK.

Find out more about the OUASC here

A range of online courses

This project gives teachers free access to the OU’s OUASC online learning platforms. Every course is designed to build their digital skills and the structure allows them to work independently at their own pace.  

To fit around teachers’ busy schedules, the courses are a blend of Facebook Live webinars, weekly emails and updates, and online discussions supported by other teachers and the OUASC team. Participants can stay updated on assessments, deadlines and opportunities via the OUASC Facebook page.

Courses offered by the OU and Cisco partnership

Here are some examples of the wide range of courses that teachers can access:

  • Linux Unhatched
  • Introduction to IoT
  • Introduction to Networking
  • Routing and Switching Essentials
  • IT-Essentials
  • CyberSecurity Operations
  • CyberSecurity Essentials
  • Python Essentials

Growing the community

In order to reach more teachers and let them know about the programme, Cisco and the OU are engaging with the educational community via social media. So far, through these efforts, over 4,000 teachers have signed up to the OUASC online courses.


“The enthusiasm, commitment and motivation of the teachers engaging with this project is inspiring. While we anticipated a positive engagement from this community, the resulting effort, hard work and dedication to upskilling has been awesome.”

Andrew Smith – Project Lead and Senior Lecturer in Networking, Open University

“It’s often challenging to find time to commit to maintaining my computer science skills and ensuring I have something that works for my students. My recent IoC/Cisco/OU course has been very flexible as it fit around my work commitments, as well as giving me new insight and an excellent set of resources for my BTEC students.”

Lynne Norman – Teacher @ The Watford UTC

For more information on Teaching the Teachers and our partners’ other courses, get in touch with the IoC team at

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