How Can Education Technology Support Key School Priorities?
Delivering the strategyPrior to the introduction of the Technology for Learning Strategy, pupils were surveyed to ascertain their access to mobile devices at home and identify any barriers to future learning. Those students with limited access to technology were supported via the schools SEN department, which ensured that they were not disadvantaged by their access to devices as the school increased it’s use of technology for learning.As per Christensen and Knezek (2016), staff received appropriate supportive training on the pedagogy of integrating these devices as well as useful strategies for classroom management of technology, prior to the rollout of the strategy. As a result, teachers took the new tools they had been given and incorporated them into their teaching and learning to improve engagement and raise attainment. Subjects were taught in new and innovative ways – for example, the use of Google Earth was brought into Geography lessons, where previously OS maps had solely been used. This enhanced and enriched the existing curriculum. Methods of assessment evolved – for example, the increased use of mobile technologies allowed for online assessment tools such as Kahoot and Google Classroom to be embedded across the school. The school marking policy was adapted to reflect the move towards more online submission and marking of work, but this did not lose any of the rigour of the previous process which celebrates “pace, productivity and pride”. Instead, the pupil-teacher dialogue is now evidenced using online marking tools as well as in books.Other examples of inspiring pedagogy include:
- The delivery of the “flipped classroom” model in many subjects; making use of online podcasts to ensure the learning starts before the lesson even begins.
- The use of green screen technology to create a wide range of learning resources including advertisements for Media Studies, “real world” scenarios for MFL, pledges for Internet Safety Week and historical documentaries where pupils “report from” WW1 and the French Revolution.
- The creation of interactive Google Sites for Support for Learning and Staff CPD, which share best practice and provide “anytime, anywhere” access to a wide range of in-school created multimedia resources.
- The delivery of the “Apps For Good” programme where pupils design and create apps to solve real world problems. Denbigh pupils have had considerable success with this programme, reaching the national finals on three separate occasions and winning two awards. The school has also been recognised as the Apps For Good School of the Year.
- The use of Google Hangouts to engage directly with industry experts, such as a computer build project where staff from AMD supported pupils with a live link from America, and International Women’s Day, where pupils spoke to senior female staff at Spotify.
- The rollout this year of a Chromebook initiative which allows all pupils in Year 7 and 8 to access a Chromebook in lessons to support and enhance their learning.
ConclusionsDelivering a five year strategy will always have its challenges and lessons to be learned (Johnson et al, 2016). It became apparent that it was imperative for the strategy to be flexible and able to adapt and develop according to need and based upon key areas of focus such as school outcomes.
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ReferencesDe Coster S, Volman M and Kuiper E (2017) Concept-guided development of technology in ‘traditional’ and ‘innovative’ schools: quantitative and qualitative differences in technology integration. Springer Link: Educational Technology Research & Development.Christensen R and Knezek G (2016) Relationship of mobile learning readiness to teacher proficiency in classroom technology integration. University of North Texas.Johnson A, Jacovina M, Russell D and Soto C (2016) Challenges and solutions when using technologies in the classroom. Arizona State University.
Leadership of Education Technology in Schools
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