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Building confidence with technology CPD

In this video, we hear from Greg Hughes at the de Ferrers Academy about their approach to teacher CPD for education technologies.
Over the seven years that we’ve been using iPad, the most important thing really has been our development of models for CPD. What we’re really pleased with is that from the very first time we started we focused everything on teaching and learning. So it wasn’t about the technology and it wasn’t about apps but it was about, How do we encourage deeper learning? How do we model what students are thinking and make that visible? How do we use assessment for learning tools to diagnose issues and then support them as easily as possible? That’s really driven the whole approach to technology.
What we found really helpful with that is to have a key group of apps and approaches that we can use in any subject with any group of staff. Then it makes the whole thing more efficient and much easier and then we develop more granularity with individual subjects and faculties to look at how they then embed the learning tools better to suit each of those particular curriculum areas because there are obviously differences between them. We’ve had a core group of iPad champions and learning technology innovators who’ve worked with myself and the CPD team on that and now what we’re looking to do is to scale this up to the next level and get a lot of things happening across the trust.
So again by focusing on key aspects of learning it really removes barriers in terms of exam boards or particular quirks of what subjects do and you’re really just looking at key pedagogies and ideas, which work very effectively then across large numbers of schools. As an Apple Distinguished School, we’ve encouraged most of our teachers to become Apple Teacher. So Apple Teacher is a free online CPD program available.
What we like about it is there’s a series of books that staff can download to look at various tools and aspects of things they might do like being creative or developing productivities and it gives staff a real baseline confidence and knowledge of the Apple environment and the tools that they can use, but also the tools that students might use in class as well to produce assignments and spreadsheets and things like that. We like the fact as well that the books have a lot of really great examples built in so it’s not just how to use the tool but as a springboard to what you might then go on to do with it in lessons and beyond.
So I think it’s really helped having that to draw on it’s become quite a nice thing for staff. We’ve started to recognise those and there’s a display going up in the staff room of who’s got it that we will be developing over the year. And as new staff come on to the school, part of their induction process now is to get them to start developing an awareness of Apple teaching, getting their first badges in quite early and then often it snowballs and staff want to get them all.
We also interestingly now have a group of student digital leaders who are going to look at things like technical developments and creativity and online bullying but all of those are being encouraged to get their Apple Teacher badges right at the moment because again it’s going to give them a far bigger confidence and knowledge of the tools that we want them to use with other students.
We found that one of the best approaches to CPD is to make it as hands-on as possible but also to model best practice, so if we want our teachers to become very adept at using these tools for assessment for learning and retrieval practice and modeling thinking then what we really need to do is to build that into the CPD.
So a lot of the sessions will be very hands-on we will interact with staff in the same way we would with students to show, you know, get them to complete assignments, show their thinking, use things like Plickers or Quizlet or Nearpod and I think it allows staff to develop a much better understanding of not just how the tools work but how they then might take them and use them in their own subject areas.
Since we’ve brought iPads into school, one of the things I’ve found really useful was actually being able to get onto a residential trip with a lot of people from the school and also from the MAT which enabled me to get a lot of information about a lot of different apps that I’ve never used before. Things like pages, things like Socrative, things like iMovie and Plickers, which I’ve never seen before. I found it really, really useful to talk to other people from different schools and see what they’ve been doing, getting some information.
And since I’ve come back to school, I’ve actually been able to bring that into my lessons and it’s helped with engagement and actually the progress of students in the class, which has been really useful. When I was on the residential trip I also got a chance to get involved with Apple Teacher, which was something really, really useful. I’ve been able to work step by step through a number of different apps and progress my way through at my own pace. As I was doing that I also got a lot of ideas of what I could bring into the classroom, into my own lessons, which has been really, really valuable for me.

In this video, we hear from Greg Hughes at the de Ferrers Academy about their approach to teacher CPD for education technologies.

Key learning points from this case study

  • Start with classroom practice (or your purpose for technology use)
  • Have a common set of tools that can then be made subject specific
  • Staff digital champions to work with colleagues
  • Certification opportunities and celebration of achievements
  • Student digital champions to develop specific aspects of technology use
  • Deliberate practice and modelling opportunities within the CPD programme

Thank you to Apple Education staff and Apple Distinguished Schools for creating this content.

Once you’ve reflected on the points raised with other course participants, click the ‘Mark as complete’ button below and then select ‘Digital leaders’ to explore the next case study.
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Leadership of Education Technology in Schools

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