Catalysed's CATALYST Programme is designed to align your needs as an educator with the affordance of digital technologies. According to the best available research this has the potential to create a four month improvement in learning gains .
The fourth module of the programme, Implement, uses one-to-one sessions and blended approaches to support actual use of digital technologies in the classroom.
“Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.”
Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment
What are the benefits?
Acknowledging that using digital technologies in teaching for the first time can be a crucial and unnerving time for teachers, Catalysed can provide in class support for teachers, plus blended support using either traditional telephone or remote video conferencing. Support is provided by trained teachers with who are also digital technology experts, and hence are able to support both pedagogy and technology.
Providing individual support for teachers in the classroom ensures that initial attempts to use digital technologies are successful, and hence teachers continue to integrate them effectively into their teaching practices.
How does it work in practice: Helen's story
After seeing Plickrs, the app that lets teachers collect formative assessment data without student devices, in action with a colleague Helen was keen to give it a go herself, but being relatively new to digital technologies she was a bit apprehensive about how it would actually work in practice, and there was no one available to help her.
Working with a mentor in the classroom helped to reassure her that she could cope if anything went wrong. It was great to have someone to help handout the cards to the students, and introduce the basics of how they worked. At first her mobile phone seemed to struggle with picking up all the data from the cards, but with a little advice here and there she soon realised that it was just a matter of being patient, and scanning the room slowly whilst at the same time keeping an eye on the apps display to check that answers were being recorded.
Students really enjoyed using the cards, and not only was it a nice change from hands up, it also allowed Helen to use four answers rather than simple yes or no questions. Whilst the formative data she got was really helpful during the lesson, she also realised that because all the cards were personalised for each student she was getting some great ongoing data that would help inform longer term planning. Now that she'd tried it once so successfully, she'd certainly be coming back to Plickrs again.
How does it work?
The implement module uses four different strategies to support teachers in the classroom make effective use of digital technologies:
- Working with specific classes and technologies: Research consistently shows that in order for CPD to be effective it needs to be long term and targeted. By working with specific classes and specific technologies experience can be developed, and the true value of the changes to practice can emerge.
- Using SMART targets: Perhaps more closely associated with business, SMART targets have proved their worth over many years and ensure that efforts are focused. Catalysed recommends using the SMART approach to ensure long term learning objectives are Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Timed.
- In-class support: The initial stages of using a new technology in the classroom can be intimidating. To alleviate this Catalysed offers in-class support for teachers trying technologies for the first time, in order to ensure the experience is positive for all concerned.
- Blended support: Once teachers are comfortable with using a digital technology, Catalysed offers ongoing support at a distance to answer questions and suggest more complex ways of working with a technology as a teacher becomes more confident.