This was one of the online weeks for our ‘Transforming Teacher Education’ programme and one of the easier weeks for me to engage in. It has made me consider how well our Teacher Education programmes really prepare our future teachers to develop their digital skills though. Through recent engagement with the Jisc’s guide to developing digital literacies, I question this even more.
How do you feel about using Technology Enhanced Learning in your classroom?
I am confident using technology to enhance learning. I recognise it as a tool that can encourage collaboration and creativity in particular. It allows access to lesson content that other forms of delivery prohibit for students. It is just one tool of many though and in working with practitioners, I will discourage its use for merely ticking a box. It should be used in purposeful and meaningful ways- to develop digital skills and/or engage students with learning in improved SAMR is a useful model to follow for the embedding of technology – http://www.schrockguide.net/samr.html
What are the driving forces that would encourage you to use more technology in your teaching?
In speaking to staff about the use of technology though, we’ll often talk about employability skills and how digital skills are an ever-increasingly large part of preparing our students for work. The second thing we speak about is how it can, given a bit of time and input, save time and make work more efficient (especially when it comes to assignments and feedback). The challenges we then overcome with staff are building of confidence and skills.
Some of my favourite tech tools are (all free)-
EdPuzzle – both for flipped learning and in class to improve use of video
Google Forms– for setting quizzes outside of class and units of work for students to work through (results are automatically analysed and feedback automated too. I also use it for end of lesson reflections/reviews for students. Thinking I could input my own teaching reflections using it too…
The range of Google tools– Google sites for out of lesson resource storage and access, Google Classroom for assignment submission, Google Docs and Slides for student group collaboration and Google Communities for closed discussion spaces
Padlet– for discussion and collaboration- basically a tech replacement for sticky notes (one of my favourite tools)
Class Dojo – for giving points to students to manage behaviour (yes- I use it with 16 year olds and adults!)
Piktochart– for my creation of resources
Adobe Spark for posts, pages and video
I could go on…
What are the institutional factors that enable or prevent the further use of technology in teaching, learning and assessment where you work?
For me- it’s the lack of devices- Chromebooks/tablets/laptops/PCs prevents further in-class use for me and my students as the WiFi is not overly reliable and students are reluctant to use the data on their phones. Equally, writing essays on a phone is not really the best for developing their writing skills.