The Develop module helps teachers develop enough skill with a chosen digital technology in order to put it into effective use in the classroom.
What are the benefits?
The Develop module works with groups of staff and/or students, helping them to develop enough skill with a chosen digital technology so that they are able to put it into effective practice in the classroom. This develops their digital literacy, making them more confident with not only their chosen technology but also with digital technologies more generally.
Who is it aimed at?
This module is aimed at schools who are already making some use of digital technologies, but would like to develop either their teachers or their students ability to use a specific digital technology effectively in the classroom. Whilst the module does aim to teach the basics of a specific digital technology, so in some ways is similar to straightforward ICT training, the emphasis is more on the pedagogy of the technology rather than simply learning how to use it.
“61% of secondary teachers named training as their key ICT challenge over the next 12 months.”
British Educational Suppliers Association (2017)
Schools can propose a specific digital technology from their own work, or choose one of the Tech Trumps® to focus on. These include many of the most popular and proven digital technologies for education, such as Kahoot!, Quizizz and Padlet, as well as apps more commonly associated with business, such as OneNote, Trello and Evernote.
How does it work?
Small workshops are held focusing on how to use specific digital technologies in specific pedagogic contexts in order to meet teachers’ SMART objectives. Using research based models to help understand technology integration, including the popular SAMR and RAT models, we explore different levels of technology use, from simply replicating every day teaching process using digital tools, through to amplifying practices through the new affordances of digital technologies, and finally through to the transformation of practices using unique affordances that are impossible without the digital.
For students the process is much the same as for teachers, focusing on SMART objectives relevant to their studies, though the emphasis on the theory behind use may be less prevalent depending upon the level of the students.
How does it work in practice: Sue's story
Sue was interested in using digital technologies with her sixth form students, as she felt that developing their digital literacy skills would give them a significant boost in the workplace. She was also hoping to make more of digital technologies ability to support peer collaboration, as she knew from reading research into learning that this should help them deepen their understanding through exposure to multiple perspectives.
After some discussions with her mentor she settled on the technology Padlet, as she'd heard about it before, and knew other educators were using it successfully. A short training session was held to develop her understanding of Padlet, and design a lesson with it which matched with the broader scheme of work. Her first Padlet board was set-up and structured for her class, and links created in other media to make sure students could find the right digital destination.
Students took to the technology very quickly, and rapidly began structuring their understanding of the topic using the shared collaborative space. Sue was impressed how little she needed to guide the students with the technology, instead she found herself being able to focus on steering the students thinking, and suggesting other sources or ideas they might want to consider. Students enjoyed being able to represent their thinking in a different format, and found the ability to see others work develop in real time alongside their own a useful prompt for questioning their thinking.