Pupils have a huge amount of technological potential at their fingertips, but how to best go about making sure that they’re fully-set to take on the digital world beyond? Downe House’s Jane Basnett gives her top eight tips.
What if, like many schools, your school has not gone down the tablet route? What if your school is simply trying to make the most of the excellent web-based tools that are available? It really does not matter whether you are or you are not a tablet school; a programme still needs to be made to ensure that students leave school digitally prepared for what lies ahead.
Earlier this year, Roscoe Primary School headteacher Amanda Anders spoke at one of our events, telling attendees how she brought her school out of special measures. Here, she goes into detail about the specific technology that allowed her and her colleagues to bring the school from ‘special measures’ to ‘good’ in four years.
In 2009 Roscoe Primary School, Liverpool was placed in Special Measures. ICT was considered to be inadequate, and in November 2010 an Ofsted monitoring report stated: “Pupils’ attainment and achievement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is inconsistent and does not equip them well enough for the next stage of their education and life beyond school. The school realises that there is now an urgent need to take decisive action to address underachievement in ICT.”
It’s a brave new world for education, particularly with the growing popularity of portable devices and flipped learning. Teacher and digital strategist Jane Basnett gives her finest tips on how a school can fully embrace the future.
A digital strategy must take into account what makes an excellent lesson, and will then plan to ensure that teachers make use of technology in a creative and meaningful way that enriches the teaching. Successful use of technology in the classroom goes hand-in-hand with other good teaching techniques, all of which can be enhanced by technology. The two (technology and traditional teaching methods) are not mutually exclusive. There must be a blend of the two strands in order to bring about successful and effective teaching. Schools will need to spend time training teachers to use the latest digital tools in conjunction with relevant methodologies to ensure ultimate success.
As 1:1 learning becomes more predominant in schools worldwide, teacher and author Pamela Livingston reflects on the origins of 1:1, and examines how teachers are utilising it today.
[As seen in the February 2014 edition of our magazine]
We’re in the twenty-fourth year of educators recognising the ratio of 1:1 to mean one digital device to one child, available at school, at home and anywhere. The very first example of 1:1 was at Ladies Methodist College in Melbourne, Australia when these visionary educators took the bold step of providing laptops to every 5-12 grade student. This is fully chronicled in the book “Never Mind the Laptops”.
There is no denying that digital technology is now part and parcel of our everyday lives and increasingly teachers are making use of it, not just as a personal management system, but as part of their everyday lessons. This is all good, of course, but there can be a rather piecemeal approach to digital technology in schools. There is an awful lot of good practice going on all over the country and still further afield; one look at Twitter tells me this. However, not all teachers realise the power and potential of digital technology.
We are continually seeing new trends in education technology. In 2011, we saw the prominence of social media, QR codes, and the use of iPads™ in the classroom. So when twelve months roll around and a fresh year begins, we can’t help but wonder what developments will arise in the near future. This is an important thing to ponder considering our desire to keep our classrooms competitive! With this said, we would like to reference five ways to have a digital classroom in 2012.
Bring your own device (BYOD): While this trend has been around for a short while, it will continue to gain popularity in 2012. Allowing students to bring their own device to school for learning opportunities is an effective and inexpensive way to incorporate digital elements into lesson plans. In particular, mobile learning will become increasingly abundant as more and more students will become connected through mobile phone usage. Some other BYOD include tablets, e-readers, laptops, and iPod touches™.
Privacy and security: With the ever-present use of social media in education these last couple years, much attention has been turned towards the issue of student privacy and security. Expect to see more awareness and ways to keep student secure online. In fact, use 2012 as another opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and cyber-bullying in the classroom!