Engaging Staff With Digital Tech
An ETF-funded OTLA Digital Project
Who are we and what are we doing?
Our collaborative project involves three local authorities: Gateshead, Northumberland and Durham.
We, as partners, have identified from practitioners’ feedback that knowledge, skills, time and confidence are some of the main barriers to using digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment.
This can mean that some learners may not access relevant, useful technologies which will enhance their learning experience and life skills, increase motivation and promote achievement.
Training and CPD for digital technologies can often be delivered in a non-contextualised way, so many practitioners require the opportunity to be able to learn from fellow practitioners and peers to identify how these digital technologies could be beneficial in their curriculum area.
Where tutors do have strengths with digital technologies, there are currently few opportunities for them to not only share this to promote outstanding teaching, learning and assessment across the service, but also to discuss, research and review new and innovative methods and strategies with fellow practitioners.
It is so valuable to tutors to be able to have opportunities to refresh their skills, share best practice, review what’s available, seek opinions and understand how to install and use the technology from fellow practitioners who have used this technology previously, in a similar setting.
This can be time-consuming and as providers we are often limited to what digital technologies are “tried and tested” and used in-house, so by collaboratively working with other organisations who also deliver a diverse range of courses, this will expand the ideas and resources available to practitioners, as well as the opportunities for researching and trialling innovative new technologies.
The main actions of our project are going to be:
· Research and review a range of use of digital technologies within educational settings by meeting with practitioners and sharing findings with other practitioners across the three partner organisations to identify new and innovative technologies and reduce duplication of research
· Identify 4 – 8 ‘digital champions’ from practitioners across a range of curriculum areas (one each for maths and English) from each organisation who have strengths in digital technologies identified at OTLA
· Run in-house workshops which will be Skype broadcast to partner organisations to facilitate sharing of best practice by ‘digital champions’ to practitioners across the partner organisations, as well as sharing of other digital technologies, reflections and feedback, pros/cons and ineffective technologies and justifications
· Increase opportunities for continuous professional development of tutor knowledge and understanding in using digital technologies to support learners to achieve
· Carrying out ‘learning walks’ and OTLA with a specific focus on digital technologies used within the classroom
· Develop tutors’ digital skills using informal in-house CPD workshops with fellow practitioners and in-house ‘digital champions’ to facilitate embedding of digital technologies in a range of diverse Curriculum areas for a range of different purposes – these will be around specific themes.
· Increase in outstanding teaching, learning and assessment through evaluative practice
· Improvement overall in quality of teaching, learning and assessment through evaluative practice
· Digital development ‘market place’ between providers to facilitate sharing on a bigger scale once ‘best practice’ uses of digital technologies have been identified through workshops
· Working closely with training provider ALD to identify opportunities for technologies to embed within vocational learning to support extremely challenging young people