A few weeks ago we talked about the challenges schools are facing when embedding 1:1 devices in learning. We highlighted how a number of our schools have addressed the challenges they faced by providing structured training and development with a focus to adapt traditional teaching methods. The senior leadership teams decided to enhance the learning by supporting teachers to confidently deliver lessons with a technology of their choice.
Through reading this blog you will learn how to:
- Identify school focus for the Digital Learning Programme
- Develop a structured approach to delivering ongoing, effective and measurable CPD
- Implement a sustainable coaching model with multiple members of staff working together
- Minimise the impact of lost teaching hours
- Motivate staff with a practical approach to delivering their professional practice
To be successful, a training programme should set clear and measurable outcomes. It should be designed to help teachers rapidly improve the quality of teaching through demonstrating the impact to support the school’s investment in digital technology. It is also important to create a sustainable coaching methodology to help teachers sustain the application of technology in lessons. It should also support teachers in finding the relevance of new technology to their own classroom, subject and students.
The focus of the programme should be defined by the headteacher and tailored to the school’s aims, as well as to the needs of individual teachers. The programme should be set up in a way that allows teachers to successfully decide when and how to use digital technology for the appropriate activity, or set of activities, in their lessons.
Digital Learning Programme
- Decide key focus - An initial meeting with the headteacher to define the particular areas of focus that any training should follow. This could be linked to a particular school priority.
- Regular and sustained programme - A specific group of teachers should be identified to undertake a regular programme of six sessions, one per week, with each member of staff selected by the headteacher.
- Weekly progress reporting - It is important to understand the week by week impact and identify any progress and next steps. It also may well highlight any common themes that can be developed more widely with additional staff.
- Involve the learners - It’s really important to understand the impact of the classroom practice and technology impact from a student perspective. Try to involve students by ensuring there are sessions with representatives from each of the target classes.
- Share the impact - At the end of the training programme ensure that others are aware of the impact too. The school may set up an online forum, or share examples of practice face-to-face in faculty meetings. Alternatively successful outcomes can be shared by pupils and distributed through the school website.
Next steps with Digital Learning Programme
- Use expert knowledge - Once the initial group of teachers have completed their training programme, they can, in turn, coach a further small group of individual teachers through the same approach of looking at weekly opportunity and impact of digital technology in lessons.
- Inform school ICT strategy - It may be that a number of teachers have identified a requirement for a particular digital resource. The school should consider how this might be implemented across the school’s ICT systems to benefit the wider community. The Digital Learning Programme provides the learning evidence that such resources can be beneficial.
This is the process we follow when we deliver the Digital Learning Programme at a school. We have found that this approach provides a high return on investment by supporting teachers in confidently delivering enhanced lessons that justify the spend.