A must-read for EDU leaders worldwide: Harnessing EdTech as a catalyst for change and improvement
By Sarah Morgan, Assistant Head Teacher at Pheasey Park and published on Teaching Times. Check out the full article here.
Highlights from this impactful story of transformation:
Showcasing the benefits of EdTech resources and our continued emphasis on professional development
"We turned to EdTech to create a more collaborative community and give students more ownership of their learning. This has helped us to transform behavior and attendance levels, support school improvement and reduce teacher workload.
We changed people’s way of thinking and largely this has been down to our concerted efforts to showcase the benefits of EdTech resources and our continued emphasis on professional development for staff."
Making things as straightforward as possible for parents and students
"Like many schools, we had embraced technology long before Covid-19 hit, and had many systems already in place, so fortunately didn’t have to start from scratch unlike some schools.
We had plans for subscriptions, so Covid-19 brought that forward almost overnight and we implemented systems such as Microsoft OneNote to help create a central platform for our children to log into and access all of our online content in one place.
We made things as straightforward as possible for our parents and children so they would not have to check five or six different subscription sites to access work and homework."
Investing in professional development and leading with champions
"While we are an EdTech Demonstrator school, it’s important to stress the only reason we are able to maintain our effectiveness is because we consistently invest in professional development, and continually revisit and refresh it. Fostering buy-in from teachers will ensure success in the long term, for both teachers and their students.
We have regular training sessions so staff can further develop their skills and explore the functionality of our EdTech provision. Particularly since Covid-19, but even before then, we have seen a huge increase in staff engagement with the training opportunities on offer, for example, we have hosted training sessions for our NQTs, all the way through to whole-school training to give everyone the opportunity to refresh their skills and learn about new features and updates.
Working with one of our partners, EducationCity, we have also identified several EdTech champions within the school who work alongside our teachers to support them and provide advice and guidance when needed. We have two EdTech leads who lead the way on rolling out new software developments or resources. If these prove to be effective and suitable, we iron out any snags and then trial it with our digital leaders across the school. If this goes well, we then roll it out to those ‘harder to reach’ staff who may be resistant to technology. We don’t have many, but we find that this approach means we can identify the most effective tech that our teachers will understand and engage with, which helps us as a school to ensure we’re providing the best tools and opportunities."
We are proud to share this story and champion the great, transformational work of SMART Exemplary Schools across the world.