DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: EDTECH

As an educator, knowing the students and families I work with is essential as a child-centred approach is at the heart of what I do. This is why I identify with the MARIO Framework—it is an evidence-informed practice which has the students’ well-being and progress at its core. Equally, it helps practitioners and students by providing a scaffold for support classes, small groups, and individual student sessions. It clearly complements the work which is happening in the mainstream classroom through focusing on skills and knowledge whilst allowing students to become efficient, resilient, and reflective. 

When the country needed to close its schools due to coronavirus, like many schools nationally, Beacon Hill Academy found this challenging. All staff and learners in Beacon Hill Academy already had both email addresses and Active Directory login details, but our technology implementation in lessons was limited at this point. School closures forced us to accelerate using digital technology to support pupils’ learning and development.

Throughout the period of the lockdown, educators have identified innovative and creative ways of engaging with students while they learn from home. Schools have done amazing jobs adapting resources and switching to online learning platforms at speed.

The pandemic has brought with it many challenges and the education sector has had to act quickly to adapt. At Coupals Primary, our teachers and parents have worked together to ensure all the children continue to be educated during this uncertain time.

I had never heard of Microsoft Teams before April 2020, before lockdown, before remote learning and before COVID-19: I simply did not know it existed! Now it has become an integral and daily part of my teaching life.

Nothing transforms a young life more than literacy. And, for a few young children in Years 1 and 2, the hours at home during lockdown might have been a blissful opportunity to devour books that they hadn’t previously had time to read. For many others, especially among the 380,000 UK schoolchildren who don’t own a single book, regular reading will simply have stopped when schools closed. With no daily reading record to complete, no dedicated reading time in class and no chance to share stories with others, the gains that these young children might have made in reading fluency and confidence before schools closed will have melted away.

In the final months of 2019/20 schools were forced to adapt, with many attempting live-interaction classes through solutions such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts, but the inherent privacy concerns and safety issues of these meeting platforms became apparent.

How's your last term been?

My last term in my new Assistant Head role has been somewhat different. It has consisted of responding to parents each day, Zooming my class and setting learning (Creative writing, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Maths and Topic Learning) each week. Just want to say a big thank you to Pobble @HeyPobble and Maths Shed @mathshed for providing brilliant resources for the children and parents to use.

From as early as January 2020 our school’s leadership team could see we were going to have to prepare for delivering all learning and pastoral care remotely. Education during the pandemic has had to play a crucial role in engaging children whilst key worker parents continue to provide frontline services to the nation. 

The COVID-19 epidemic has fundamentally changed the way we use the internet. According to Ofcom, we’re spending on average an hour longer on the internet every day than we did in 2018. This has been especially true for children, who’ve relied on video calls and online games and lessons as a way to continue learning, socialising and playing. 

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