Category: Reflecting

Annual Survey Of The Use Of Digital Technology / Glow

Education Scotland carries out an annual survey of school staff and pupils to find out more about their use of digital technology in general and Glow in particular. This has been run most years in the last decade and it provides useful information which influences what the programme team within Education Scotland do throughout the year to meet the needs of Scotland’s staff and pupils. They survey is anonymous and no personal data is sought.

Last year 1,009 staff and 1,238 pupils completed the survey, below you will see a summary of the responses received. You can access the survey here.

2016 Survey Highlights

  • Staff report a high level of confidence in their use of digital technology (82% quite or very confident)
  • 87% of staff use digital technology in the classroom at least 2 to 4 times a week
  • 76% of staff report that digital technology has had either a very significant or notable positive impact on learning and teaching in the classroom
  • 67% of staff respondents use Glow at least 2 to 4 times a week.
  • 10% of respondents have never used Glow.
  • Biggest barrier for use of digital technology is slow internet access at school (55%), other issues also given include lack of time and lack of IT resource
  • 75% of respondents who use Glow believe it has a positive impact on their learning and teaching
  • Staff are satisfied with the tools provided within Glow – RM Unify and Microsoft O365 provide the highest satisfaction, Glow Wikis the least.
  • 56% of staff use Glow for whole class teaching although 26% of respondents do not use Glow with pupils.
  • 90% of pupils are either quite or very confident in their use of digital technology
  • 91% of pupils use the internet whilst at school
  • 44% use Glow every week, 5% use it every day
  • 86% of pupils use digital technology to help with their work outside of school.

Government and industry recognise and celebrate #DigitalSchools

Today (22nd February), 21 primary schools in Scotland have gained national ‘Digital School’ status for excellence in digital technology in teaching and learning. I had the pleasure of attending this event as a Programme Validator for the Digital Schools Awards. The schools were officially awarded the honour of being recognised as the first digital schools in Scotland by the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, at a ceremony held at Wormit Primary School.

Recognised by Education Scotland, the Digital Schools Award is designed to promote, encourage and reward schools that make the best use of digital technology in the classroom.   HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel are providing support to the programme, including a financial commitment of £110,000 in the first year as well as the provision of practical support and resources.

Schools that receive ‘Digital School’ status will demonstrate, among other things, the presence of a whole school digital strategy, evidence of how digital technology is being used to enhance learning and a commitment to ongoing professional learning for teachers. The programme has already highlighted some very innovative and collaborative approaches from schools and teachers regarding the integration of digital technology in teaching and learning, which will be an inspiration to other schools.

One in nine primary schools in Scotland, some 195 schools, have signed up to become a Digital School since the launch of the programme in September 2016. The programme aims to sign up 400 primary schools in Scotland to participate in its first full year.

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-20-55-30

Speaking about the awards programme Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, said: ‘Digital skills are an integral part of our everyday lives, and as such it is absolutely essential that we give young people the opportunities to understand and use them properly. The Digital Schools Awards Programme is a fantastic example of industry supporting education in Scotland and helping ensure our young people develop the skills and opportunities to flourish.

Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director at Education Scotland said, ‘The Digital Schools Awards Programme is a very valuable approach to embedding digital learning in primary schools. It fully supports and promotes the vision set out in the Government’s Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. I am delighted to see these first set of awards being presented and the number of schools registering for the programme continuing to grow. I encourage all primary schools in Scotland who have not yet done so, to sign up to the programme.’

Neil Sawyer, Education Director at HP commented: ‘HP believes that the technology sector has a responsibility to support schools and ensure that the next generation is equipped with the knowledge needed to close the STEM and creative skills gap, and drive the economy of tomorrow. Being recognised as a Digital School is a great achievement and an important milestone. We congratulate the 21 schools receiving awards today.’

 Scotland performs very well in terms of integrating technology in the curriculum’, said Jane Grey, Sales Leader at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Scotland. We are proud to be part of the Digital Schools Awards initiative which is making a practical contribution to helping schools make the most of their digital capabilities. I would encourage more schools to sign up to the programme to take advantage of the comprehensive supports and expertise on offer.’

The newly awarded ‘Digital Schools’ are:

  • Bathgate Early Years Centre
  • Beith Primary School
  • Blackfriars Primary School
  • Bonhill Primary School
  • Calside Primary School
  • Dalry Primary School
  • Echt School
  • Kelvinside Academy
  • Kildrum Primary School
  • Kingswells Primary School
  • Kinlochleven Primary School
  • Kirkton Of Largo Primary School
  • Lundavra Primary School
  • Mearns Primary School
  • Netherlee Primary School
  • Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral Primary School
  • Rosebank Primary School
  • The Compass School
  • The Edinburgh Academy Junior School
  • Whitehirst Primary School
  • Wormit Primary School

Connect with me at #BETT2017 (Digital Schools Awards) @HP Stand (D200)

bett-2017

SPEAKING AT BETT, LONDON 25 AND 26 JANUARY 2017 (11AM) STAND D200

On 25th and 26th January, I will be speaking at BETT in London, about the Digital Schools Awards. BETT is the world’s leading education technology event celebrated in the UK every year and attended by over 45,000 people.

The Award is an industry leading award and public private partnership programme, supported by HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft and Intel. Schools that successfully complete the programme receive a nationally recognised digital schools award. Here in Scotland, this is accredited by Education Scotland.

If you would like to know more about the Award, register your interest in attending my presentation through the DSA website; also speaking on 27th and 28th will be my colleague and fellow Programme Validator, Dr Victor McNair. You will find us around the event, but based from stand D200 (with HP) by appointment.

I hope to see some of you there and I’m looking forward to writing up some thoughts about BETT, over the course of the event.

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-10-51-38

Embrace The Technology: My article on Digital Culture in GTCS Teaching Scotland Magazine Issue 67

Digital Learning and Teaching is The Responsibility For All

My article on digital technology as a responsibility for all teachers, has now been published in Teaching Scotland magazine. The article explores the culture of learning and teaching through the use of digital technologies, making a few recommendations on how we can better integrate this important aspect of the curriculum into our schools. You can access the article via the General Teaching Council Scotland website or directly from this post by clicking the image below.

Dunn, L. (2017) Embrace The Technology: Digital learning and teaching is the responsibility for all in Teaching Scotland, issue 67. pp18-19. General Teaching Council Scotland.

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-12-43-11

Impact of Digital Technology on Learning and Teaching #digilearnscot

This literature review was commissioned by the Scottish Government to explore how the use of digital technology for learning and teaching can support teachers, parents, children and young people in improving outcomes and achieving these ambitions.

This study is designed to help inform the development of a strategy for digital learning and teaching by providing evidence of how and why digital learning and teaching can benefit learners, teachers and schools. It also aims to identify the conditions that lead to its successful implementation and any differences between primary and secondary settings. In particular it focuses on how digital technologies can support and contribute to five specific educational priorities: raising attainment, tackling inequalities and promoting inclusion, improving transitions into employment, enhancing parental engagement, and improving the efficiency of the education system.

A literature search was undertaken, collecting nearly 1,000 items from academic, governmental and professional sources. These were reviewed to determine their thematic relevance and the strength of the evidence they presented. The most useful were then collated and assessed to:

  • Identify evidence of relationships between digital learning and teaching activities and the expected outputs, outcomes and impacts;
  • Show the relationships that exist between the digital learning and teaching activities and the outputs, outcomes and impacts for different beneficiaries (learners, parents, teachers, and the school); and
  • Identify which outcomes are immediate, medium-term and long-term.The key findings of the research are presented below, separated into the key thematic areas which were examined during the review. In the cases where studies of similar digital equipment, tools and resources have been systematically reviewed or where there is a large body of evidence from different studies which have measured change (from quantitative studies using counterfactuals and testing learners before and after), it is possible to state there is conclusive evidence. In other cases where the evidence base is weaker (mainly qualitative studies drawing on relatively small samples of learners and schools), it is only possible to state that there is indicative evidence or (where few cases) promising evidence.

More effective use of digital teaching to raise attainment happens when teachers are able to identify how digital tools and resources can be used to achieve improved learning outcomes, as well as having knowledge and understanding of the technology. This applies in all schools.

Where learners use digital learning at home as well as school for formal and non-formal learning activities these have positive effects on their attainment. This is due to the extension of their learning time. This is particularly important for secondary age learners.

There is indicative evidence that the use of digital tools and resources can help to reduce gaps in subject attainment when they are effectively implemented. There is promising evidence that the use of digital equipment and resources can help learners with additional support needs to improve their skills and competences in literacy and numeracy.

Teachers’ skills and competences in recognising how to use digital tools and resources and applying them effectively are critical to achieving positive results for learners with additional support needs or who are disdvantaged in other ways.

There is promising evidence that digital tools can, where effectively used, build skills in interactivity and collaboration, critical thinking and leadership for secondary age learners. These are considered to be vital skills by employers. There is promising evidence too that for secondary age learners, digital resources coupled with digital tools can increase knowledge and understanding of career pathways, applying for work, and working environments. These resources can make it easier for employers to provide help and support to learners.

In addition to the skills that teachers require to harness digital tools and resources to build learners’ employability skills, it is evident that they need to be prepared to develop learner-centred learning approaches. Support for learners to access digital equipment outside the classroom is also important.

There is promising evidence that using digital equipment and tools for direct communication with parents can improve learners’ and parents’ cooperation with requests from teachers about attendance, behaviour and support for learning.

Teachers are more likely to do this once they are more competent in using digital equipment and tools, and once schools use digital tools such as virtual learning environments to facilitate communication with parents.

There is promising evidence that teachers’ efficiency can be increased by using digital equipment and resources to prepare for teaching. There is similarly some qualitative evidence that digital tools and resources enable teachers to do their job better in relation to teaching, assessment and their own on-the-job learning and development.

While many studies clearly focus on specific learners in terms of age, settings (primary, secondary, special education) and domestic circumstances, none make any comparisons between the impact of digital technologies on educational priorities for different age groups. As a consequence, it has not been possible to identify any differences in the use and impact of digital technology in primary and secondary school settings. However, it is generally the case that the impacts found apply relatively equally to primary and secondary school learners.

Successful utilisation of digital technology depends not just upon sufficient access to equipment, tools and resources, but also on the availability of sufficient training, and knowledge and support networks for teachers. Providing teachers with this support will allow them to understand the benefits and applications of digital technologies and enable them to use digital technologies effectively.

Full text (sourced here): Scottish Government Publication

#UofG Students to facilitate workshop at the 2015 STTA Conference

The 2015 Scottish Technology Teacher’s Association Annual Conference will be held in Glasgow on Saturday 7th November 2015. The workshop programme will consist of activities based on the new Design & Technology curriculum and N4/5 courses. I am delighted to announce that a group of BTechEd (Hons) students will facilitate a workshop at the conference.

All teachers of craft, design, engineering and technology (including student teachers) are invited to attend.

Planned highlights to include:

  • Conference Keynote Speaker Dr Diane Aston from The Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining talks materials.
  • Full Exhibition of Educational suppliers of technology equipment & support resources.
  • An opportunity to meet colleagues from throughout Scotland.
  • Prizes awarded to the winners of the TTA Competitions.
  • Workshops detailed below
  • Full hospitality including tea and coffee on arrival and lunch.

Bob Baldie will return to the TTA Conference this year with a special workshop on wood turning with Peter Fordyce.

James Bleach is the creator of JAMBLE D&T Resource website and will be giving a workshop on how to create effective D&T resources.

Scott Hunter has returned following a highly successful workshop at last years conference. This year the focus is Manual Graphics.

Lynsey McNamee follows last year’s success with another workshop for TeachMeet, an opportunity to see what others have been doing and ask questions.

Our Keynote Speaker has also agreed to do a workshop. There was a lot of positive feedback from attendees last year about her amazing Smart Materials session last year and she has kindly agreed to do so again.

Students at The University of Glasgow BTechEd are doing an interesting workshop on Engineering Systems and Robotics and how to effectively use it in the classroom. A great opportunity to meet the new Technology teachers and learn something new.

Following feedback last year about the effective use of Inventor and desktop publishing in the New Graphics courses, Alan Delany will be doing two workshops: one on Inventor and one on the Serif suite.

Further details and booking via: Scottish TTA

Global Collaboration Day #VET

Please see the post below for details. This was sent via the UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Experts Forum. I decided to share as it may be of interest to some of you.

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to share with you the launch of the Global Collaboration Day. Over the next couple of days, students, classrooms, teachers, administrators, parents and organizations will be either attending and/or hosting events online that are designed to showcase and promote global collaboration. Over 100 groups have designed and planned their own events which we have then organized into a directory and in special calendars to allow these events to be seen in any time zone in the world.

This is a huge worldwide experiment to demonstrate the power of globally-connected learning.

You are encouraged to browse the event directory or the calendar and choose a compelling event to attend!

Here are some important links for you to keep handy:

We have scheduled an event to contribute to this effort:

http://www.globalcollaborationday.org/event-directory/cognitive-skills-enhancement

Warmest regards to All!

Chris Chinien, Ph.D.

President,

Compétences/Skills R&D Inc.

My brief reflections on the OECD Report: Students, Computers and Learning

OECD Report

So we have just seen the publication of a new report from the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills – Students, Computers and Learning: Making the connection (OECD, 2015). First, let’s mention that this is probably going to be an important document which will not only gain international interest, but will also be a discussion point somewhere in Government. Second, this post seeks to provide some of my own thoughts on what it says. You do not need to agree with me on everything and that is a point worth illustrating. When it comes to technology and learning, the infrastructure (which also includes the teacher and curriculum, etc) is very different from one country to the next. Likewise, so the research differs too. There are many variables at play and as such we often need to look at the smaller detail locally than the big picture holistically. For example, if you are doing something with your class in your school and it works, this does not mean it will work for everyone nor should you stop doing it if someone else says so.

My main point throughout is thus: that the impact of technology on attainment is dependent on effective agency between the teacher and the learner. I would also point out that simply throwing gadgets into schools is not good enough. I am concerned here (and time will tell) that the media will pick up on some of the conclusions and make sweeping statements such as: tablet computers do nothing for learners or schools need to do more reading and numeracy and less IT. That (in my humble opinion) is a load of tosh.

I believe that there is a fundamental flaw in the terminology that we use. The impact of technology on attainment is statistical in nature and fairly easy to map over time. But the impact of technology on learning is far more complex and open. It is experiential and the cognitive process by which a learner engages with technology can bring around new experiences. It is human nature that this will differ from one person to the next but we could use theories of connectivism as an example in relation to driving new skills and information seeking.

On the whole, the authors have done a good job on pulling together the data that sits behind the report… but I also take some of the conclusions with a pinch of salt.

Here is the background:

Are there computers in the classroom? Does it matter? Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection examines how students’ access to and use of information and communication technology (ICT) devices has evolved in recent years, and explores how education systems and schools are integrating ICT into students’ learning experiences. Based on results from PISA 2012, the report discusses differences in access to and use of ICT – what are collectively known as the “digital divide” – that are related to students’ socio-economic status, gender, geographic location, and the school a child attends. The report highlights the importance of bolstering students’ ability to navigate through digital texts. It also examines the relationship among computer access in schools, computer use in classrooms, and performance in the PISA assessment. As the report makes clear, all students first need to be equipped with basic literacy and numeracy skills so that they can participate fully in the hyper-connected, digitised societies of the 21st century.

  1. The kind of things that are easy to teach are now easy to automate, digitize or outsource. I am not really sure what that means or if I agree with it. It seems to be a random statement made with intent but with little context. Let’s use augmented realities as an example. My premise is that we only make things digital (and I hate using that term too) if there is a need and a recognised benefit in doing so. The benefits of course, should be with the learner.
  2. The comparison between digital literacy and print reading is interesting and worthy of further study.
  3. Access to a computer. It would seem that 50% of participants in the UK have access to at least 3 computers and that this is wide ranging from almost 0% in Indonesia to around 85% in Denmark (lowest to highest) yet there is more equity across the sample countries when one looks at access to a single computer. The scatter diagram is stable for the most part with major variation appearing only where there is lower access to 3 computers but there appear to be gaps here. It does not look to study the type of computer and how powerful/new it is. Between 2009 and 2012, it looks like there has been an upward trend. I would expect this to continue as web infrastructures are developed and the costs of computing become lower. There are many issues of equity on the school online environ that I would like to pursue.
  4. The time spent online has many stories sitting behind it. I could ramble on here for hours but I wont. Too many connections around technology and society but I will point out that a significant whack of online activity will happen in the home or elsewhere outside of school. Given that many devices are now connected to the internet (PCs, games consoles, TVs and even fridges) there needs to be further discussion about what we mean with the term ‘online’. Without a doubt there are many questions regarding the impact of social media technologies. As a society, I’d argue that we are becoming increasingly bored with simply using technology for technology sake and that we are now looking for meaningful purpose.
  5. Now when it comes to attainment we have some sweeping conclusions again. Students who use computers at school only moderately score the highest in reading. Again, the agency and use of the computer is important here. There are many unanswered questions around what, when, where, how and why the technology has been used to support learning.
  6. Students who do not use computers in maths lessons score highest in mathematics. Now, the data suggests that paper-based maths will equate to a higher score but up pops the variables again. The actual score points are very close and we need more detail. For example, how much time is spent on the learning in both contexts, what is the instructional pedagogy? Really, I want to know more – why is there a difference between the two? Is this an equity issue? Is it cultural or are there socio-economic factors at play?

There is a lot to digest from the report and no doubt I will come back and rethink certain aspects over the coming weeks. I do like the fact that the report picks up on emerging technologies, experiential learning and interactive and metacognitive pedagogies. Some of the concluding thoughts are valid and I totally agree that we do need to put more thought into what we are doing with technology. There is a clear role in research informed teaching and this needs to be a local enquiry based approach from one teacher to the next. There must be renewed focus on learning with technology rather than teaching with technology and this is something that I have written about in the past.

Sources:

OECD, (2015) Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection. PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264239555-en (last accessed 15/09/2015).

http://www.oecd.org/edu/students-computers-and-learning-9789264239555-en.htm?utm_content=buffer40470&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer