Going 1:1 – Weekly update
This week has been heavily focused on infrastructure, staff and student training. I have been also been faced with the difficult question of “All in” or “Staggered” and an insight into a test trial from another school that I am going to test in mine.
This is paramount, without a strong and stable connection for all students and staff then the adoption of technology is destined not to succeed. This may sound obvious but actually making sure that you are future proofing the school is essential. Paying for the bare minimum may suit today’s budget but could have hamper adoption of technology across the school and create a bad feeling in areas where it is unreliable.
I know I wrote about this last week but it is such an important topic that has come round again this week. I use the analogy of plane and pilots an awful lot but it is so true. You can’t expect teachers to just know how to get the best from a complicated tool and it isn’t about the quick wins. Staff need time to use things themselves. This is really important. Current and previous edtech resources get rolled out with little to no staff training and the expectation is they will just know how to use it. My new analogy is you can’t watch an episode of Strictly come dancing and then go and dance the ‘Paso doble’. After initial training there needs to be opportunity to then learn and develop. This has a cost of time! Staff need to have this investment if things are to succeed.
Basic training is essential and we are currently experiencing an unexpected skills gap in the basics. Students are coming from primary schools knowing how to code but not about the basics of computer operation and office based applications. I know we are not alone in this as other schools on twitter are experiencing the same thing. This needs to sorted in the first term so that subjects that require collaborative work can be sure that these skills are not required to be taught before engaging in the tasks set.
This doesn’t need to be done by one specific subject and can time can be shared.
“All in” versus “Staggered”
This is now where it becomes difficult. Making changes in grand scale is difficult and risky but with a plan of how things will be developed over time I feel, in my own opinion, the most sensible solution.
Gradual adoption runs the risk of never really being adopted properly. It also means that staff need to potentially continually rewrite Schemes of work which has pros and cons especially as new courses are being started next year it is difficult to run and implement. Staff will want to adopt new practises for all students across the board.
No definite answers yet so I will continue this next week.
So another teacher showed me some results about typing speed over writing speed. So my hypothesis on this was that students aren’t as quick typing. The Study started with about 150 students and simply writing for 10 minutes on a topic then typing for 10 minutes on another topic. I was really shocked by the results that 70% of the students had a typing speed more than 25% quicker and some manged to type more than double! If this is students normal way of working then this would mean in exams there is potential for them to be graded positively against more content.
I have a short week in school next week so I may have less to report back next week but I taking part in a Global collaboration this week so I will try and find out how the American school is using technology and take any advice from them.