Catalysed's approach is designed to align your needs as an educator with the affordance of digital technologies. In order to do this effectively Catalysed recommends an analysis of current practices, both as a school and as individual educators, in order to ensure that there are no barriers to effective technology integration.
Overcoming barriers to technology integration
Research has shown that teachers often have a strong desire to integrate ICT into education, but that they tend to encounter many barriers such as lack of confidence, lack of competence, and lack of access to resources (Bingimlas, 2009 ). Catalysed understands this, and hence takes a systems approach that aims to address barriers at multiple levels of an organisation.
Using a custom made "Hierarchy of Pedagogical Digital Needs" for the effective use of digital technologies in school, similar in form to Maslow's classic motivational hierarchy of needs , we ensure that "foundational needs" such as reliable wifi and safety concerns are met before attempting to move to more complex and powerful use of technologies to enhance learning.
"Effective professional development activities are designed around individual teachers’ existing experience, knowledge and needs; the context and day-to-day experiences of teachers and their schools; and the desired outcomes for pupils."
UK Government standard for teachers’ professional development (July 2016)
Multiple levels of analysis
Making digital technologies work effectively for you in education is not a trivial matter. There are multiple ways in which the promise of technology to enhance current practices can be thwarted, ranging from outdated or ineffective hardware, to confusing and conflicting policies and practices, through to disengaged and technophobic staff. Catalysed is aware of the many potential pitfalls, and hence has multiple tools which is can bring to bear in order to surface these issues, and hence deal with them effectively.
Catalysed mains tools are focused on two types of barriers - those at school level and those at individual level.
Catalysed has developed a "Hierarchy of Pedagogical Digital Needs" to identify all potential barriers to effective use of digital technologies, which also ensures that foundational needs such as reliable wifi and e-safety are met before attempting to move to more complex and powerful use of technologies to enhance learning.
This hierarchy has been translated into a Survey of Pedagogical Digital Needs that can be used either independently by a school, or in partnership with Catalysed, in order to surface barriers at multiple levels of the hierarchy.
The Hierarchy of Pedagogical Digital Needs is designed to surface school wide issues, but it cannot help identify individual attitudes - and there is strong evidence to suggest individual attitudes are the hinge point upon which effective use of digital technologies rests.
In order to find out how well individual teachers understand how to use digital technologies effectively to support teaching and learning Catalysed has developed a free online quiz: The TPK Quiz, which is short for the Technological Pedagogical Knowledge Quiz. This is based on the TPACK framework, a proven approach to understanding an individuals pedagogical digital competence. Results from the TPK quiz can be overlaid onto individual AIM models, providing a baseline from which to plan for development.
In addition Catalysed can also bring to bear the TeLRA, or Test of e-Learning Related Attitudes (TeLRA) survey. Another product of academic research in this field, the TeLRA can reveal individual attitudes to e-learning against four themes, helping to identify areas of strength and challenge.