We were delighted that so many people joined our Technology in Schools EdTech Showcase last week, despite it being the first week with all children back in school. If you missed it, many of the showcase sessions will continue to be available on-demand, through the Digital Classroom (more of which below.)
During the showcase, we were inspired by our Teaching and Learning Advisers who shared ways that technology can support learning in maths, English and MFL. We discussed what we have learned about digital learning over the last year and how we can pull out the best bits to continue to support teaching, learning and communication in a post-Covid world. One presenter used the term, ‘panning for gold’, which resonated with many of us, as we start to think about what has worked, and what has not, during lockdown, and what we can keep to use now and in the future.
I don’t know if I could teach completely without it any more.
Zoë, Year 5 teacher and Google Workspace user, Peartree Spring Primary School
Ten ways in which digital technology can support schools in a post-Covid world
- Be prepared for any future disruption. Continued use of your chosen digital education platform will mean that should the school be required to deliver connected learning at any time in the future, staff and learners will be familiar with how it works and the transition will be as seamless as possible.
- Setting homework. Digital education platforms not only make it easy to set and receive work carried out at home, but can also be helpful in engaging parents/carers in their child’s work, as they can also view work set and feedback provided.
- In-school assemblies. Whilst most children have returned to school, it is likely to be some time before everyone can gather together in one space for whole-school assemblies. Technology allows each class to come together online to help maintain a sense of community and togetherness.
- Assessment tools. Technology supports low-stakes quizzing and retrieval practice with free, easy-to-use tools such as Microsoft or Google Forms.
- Engaging young people. Our learners are growing up in a world that is ‘digital by default’. A balance of screen and non-screen time is hugely important, and there is no suggestion here that everything should be screen based. However, it is worth acknowledging that many learners are very comfortable and often motivated by using digital technology for learning, as they frequently use it in their domestic lives.
- Collaborative learning and peer assessment. Digital education platforms facilitate collaborative working, any time, any place. Collaborative working can help with strengthening understanding and engaging learners.
- Virtual school trips. It will probably be some time before schools can take children out on trips, so why not embrace virtual excursions? Many museums now have virtual online tours that learners can visit and explore, for example, you can visit the British Museum through Google Streetview.
- Using digital content. Whilst there are many different ways in which children learn, some schools have reported how well particular children have responded to on-demand, pre-recorded lesson content. Children can access such content at a time that works for them, watch it repeatedly and call on it when needed. So if you recorded lesson content during lockdown, do not throw it away!
- Virtual parents evenings. Are these more efficient than running them the ‘old way’?
- Preparing children for the future. The global swing towards working digitally has been hugely accelerated because of Covid. It is now clearer than ever how important digital skills are for children’s futures.
- And one for luck: save on printing costs. Working digitally can greatly reduce the amount of printing required in a school or setting. Whilst of course there are still reasons to print, on many occasions a physical copy can easily be replaced with a free, digital copy.
It’s like a rebirth! It’s taken us from a really horrible place […] where the learning experience for children was non-existent […], to now; we’re really looking forward to something that’s going to be great for the future.
Alan, Deputy Head, Four Swannes Primary School, speaking about moving to Microsoft Cloud
The Herts for Learning Digital Classroom will continue to support schools with digital learning, providing on-demand training, guidance and best practice. New content will be regularly added to provide a one-stop space for school staff to find the help and inspiration they may need to maximise the benefits of digital learning in their school. We are adding many of the great sessions from our EdTech Showcase to this platform so that they continue to be available on demand.
Users can see, quickly and easily, what has been recently added to the Digital Classroom by clicking on the Newly Added section. Here we list all the new content with quick-links to the relevant sections. So make sure you visit regularly to keep up to date with our new content.
If you’re a Hertfordshire school please register for the Digital Classroom.
If you a non Hertfordshire school please email email@example.com for more information.