Educational technology can be a contentious topic in schools. Our students are seen as ‘natives’ to a digital world many of us feel lost in before we even enter. However we cannot ignore the fact technology is here to stay, and to resist it not only holds us back as professionals but also holds back our students. I explored this in a recent CPD session, introducing my fellow teachers to ‘the digital world’ and having frank discussions about the role of technology and the digital world in our lives and the lives of our students.
The reason I put myself forward to lead this in-house training was because of an enlightening conference I attended about Future Ready Learning, provided by Deep Learning in Bangkok. You can explore the workshops provided by following this link.
Initially I was apprehensive due to my lack of technological knowledge and expected my colleague, the school ICT coordinator, to get much more from the conference than I ever would however this was not the case. To read my blog post about the conference follow this link and to read about my reflection about leading my first CPD session follow this link
The first thing I did after the Future Ready Learning weekend was to develop my digital footprint. I made a professional twitter account, LinkedIn account, basic website and blog. Now if you google my name you find what I want you to find. My peers found this an extremely interesting concept. In a world where people are making online profiles and sharing information, pictures, videos and personal views before finishing high school we must learn (and teach) how to control what can be found out about us and make our online self one which we are proud of.
The most important message I shared in the CPD session was the fact that there is a vast, overwhelming amount of technology which no one person could ever have knowledge of. The key to finding your way in the digital world is knowing your objective or aim, then finding a tool which helps you to meet that objective. An example of this is my use of Powtoon (a website where you can create cartoon style videos). My aim was to have an engaging starter for a written assessment, the tool I used was a personal 1 min video introducing the task. Year 8 loved it – they applauded! I have also used this with KS4 students – the aim was to make revision homework more engaging, the tool was them creating a revision video and sharing it with each other.
My colleagues found the training useful, as you can see from the feedback they left.