Make this your most digital year yet!

Paul Wright

Paul Wright is innovation lead at Aureus School in Oxfordshire and founder of TIPS4TEACHING. He is the author of Teach, Reflect, Doodle…, which was published by Bloomsbury, and hosts the tips4teaching podcast.

Follow @tips4teachingUK

Website: https://tips4teaching.co.uk/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image credit: Flickr // student_tech Image credit: Flickr // student_tech


Digital literacy: I’m sure you’ve been told this is important for students in the 21st Century. But did anyone mention it’s also important for teachers too? Believe me, it is! Digital literacy is about digital skills, skills which help you use tech, create with tech and be safe using tech. So obviously as students increase in their use of technology we have to support them in how to use it wisely, correctly and safely. The same applies to teachers.


Below are some ideas to help you embrace digital literacy throughout the school year. I’m going to group them under two categories ‘Create With’ and ‘Use and Be Safe’. I’ll explain with examples what it means to teachers and what's available to help you.


 1. Create With


I’m sure you know plenty about Microsoft Office. You’ve been using it all your career no doubt, but what about other creative tools which you could be using to support your work and your teaching? Keeping up-to-date and knowing where to go to find out about these is part of the ‘create with’ aspect of a teacher’s digital literacy.


As a digitally literate teacher, you’d be expected to know a range of online and offline technology which you could utilise to improve/support you teaching. One example would be using online software like Prezi occasionally, instead of PowerPoint, to present information to students and engage them in a topic.


Here are three great places to go to keep you up-to-date on tech for the classroom:

  1. 1.  www.ictevangelist.com
  2. 2.  www.3x3links.com/pi
  3. 3.  www.ukedchat.com/ictmagic


Tech resources you can use to enhance learning

  1. 1. PowerPoint - Yeah, it’s a classic, but don’t write it off. Look a neat tricks like inserting online videos into slides as a way of enhancing your presentations. Insert a countdown timer video from YouTube next to a challenge activity and see how this impacts engagement and progress in a lesson. Check out EmergingEdtech to see how you can expand your PowerPoint skills.
  2. 2. Prezi - Prezi has been around for about 10 years, and it’s still not as widely known as you may expect. It’s a great alternative to PowerPoint, and it’s all online with the option to download presentations which will run in any browser. I have used these for presentations to staff, at conferences, and with learners! A great tool to try out!
  3. 3. Wikis/shared web pages - Whether you have access to Google (and Google Apps) in your school or not, you can find setting up a collaborative wiki page for your class, course or form a great way to encourage learners to share their knowledge on a topic. With my A Level students I posed a question on each page of the site, for example: “How do networked computers communicate?” The learners updated the pages themselves based on their own classwork, reading and research. The outcome was a self-curated space perfect for revision when exam season came around! Try it yourself!


2. Use and be safe


Using technology safely plays a huge part of the school curriculum from Primary up into Secondary. But it’s equally as important for teachers to know how to use technology safely as it is our learners.


Sharing things online is fantastic, and the benefits of a teachers using Social Media to improve their pedagogy can be enormous. I encourage it!


Think before you post


Ask yourself a few key questions before you set up and post to a social media platform.

      1. 1.  What am I sharing about myself?
      2. 2.  What do I want to learn/understand from using this?
      3. 3.  How do I appear to people online?


Some years ago didn’t get a job because I didn’t have an online digital footprint (this was 2008), and it was a job I really wanted! I learned from the experience and began to explore how I could create an online version of myself which showcased ‘the best’ of my work in education. I then set up a blog (tips4teaching.co.uk) and a Twitter account (@tips4teachingUK).


It’s important to project the best you online. Many schools run basic background and online checks on staff now, and having a positive online profile gives you an extra ‘showcase’ alongside any application forms you send off.


My tips for setting up a Twitter account


Don’t use a handle like @PARTYteacher (sorry if you exist) - it won't make you look professional! Stick with something like @Mr/Miss_SMART. Then fill in your bio - a couple of things about who you are and what you teach.


Summary


Whether you implement these actions at the beginning of the school year or later on, support yourself to become more digitally literate. Don’t think you know it all now and are happy to repeat the same things. Look at blogs and social media to help inspire some digital creativity, but always think before you act! This year, be as safe online as you’d want your students to be!

 

Are you creative and safe with digital platforms? Let us know below.

 

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"