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20th April 2021 Technology Tools for Complex Needs with CALL Scotland.

This session is for education staff who are supporting learners with Complex Needs within an early years/primary context.

20th April 2021, 4:00 – 5.00pm 

This session will demonstrate how simple to use, free digital tools can be used to create activities for learning and communication. We will explore how these tools can be used to create learning experiences which support the development of Anticipation, Early Communication, Cause & Effect and Emergent Literacy & Numeracy. All of the digital tools are free to use and easy to share with families.

The technology tools that will be covered in this session include TarHeel Gameplay, Google Slides/PowerPoint, Google Forms/Microsoft Forms, Google Jamboard and Thinglink.

The session will take place in a Microsoft Team meeting. A staff Glow account will NOT be required.

Please sign up here

Webinar catch up. Early Learning & Childcare Practitioner webinar with NCSC: Cyber Security for Childcare providers: why it matters and top tips.

Webinar recording from Friday 26th  February 1300-1330. Early Learning & Childcare Practitioner webinar with NCSC: Cyber Security for Childcare providers: why it matters and top tips.

All childcare providers want to create a safe and secure environment for the children in your care. As we become ever more reliant on digital technology it is increasingly important that you protect data (on children, staff and families), finances and also the integrity of any digital systems you use, including email, communication channels and databases.

There are a handful of steps you can take to minimise the potentially costly and disruptive effect of a cyber incident, and better safeguard the children in your care, as well as your business’s finances and reputation. This short seminar is for anyone working in childcare in Scotland. It is run by the National Cyber Security Centre (, and supported by the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Care Inspectorate, as part of CyberScotland Week. It will provide you with advice and steps you can take to minimise the likelihood and impact of a cyber attack on your setting, and information about where to get help and advice if you need it.




Digital Quality Assurance of National Qualifications

This post outlines one possible digital solution for a quality assurance process when reviewing leaner evidence.

Using Microsoft Teams and OneNote, learner evidence can be curated and shared with peers. Discussion around learner evidence can be done asynchronously or live, with the results of the discussion recorded in text, video or voice notes.  Every member of the team will be able to access the record of quality assurance to enable them to make judgements about their own learners.

An interactive summary of this suggested process can be downloaded here.

Quality Assuring Senior Phase Learner Evidence


Step 1- Identify Staff Groups

Identify a group of teachers who will work together to quality assure evidence.  Example groupings might be

  • trios of subject departments from across a local authority or regional improvement collaborative
  • a group of single teacher department from across a local authority.

It is likely to be more manageable to limit the number of staff per group.

If possible, when creating groups of staff, distribute staff/departments who are experienced with SQA marking appropriately.

Step 2 – Set up a PLC Team in Microsoft Teams.

One person from each group sets up a team and creates a OneNote notebook to host the quality assurance evidence.  A template page can be created to ensure consistency of recording evidence.  The template text used in the video can be downloaded below.

This short video outlines the process of creating a PLC Team and a structure for the Notebook. At this stage, it would be beneficial if the person creating the team and notebook had access to the OneNote desktop app in order to add Section Groups.

Download the NQ template text

A note about the welcome page – you may wish to add some instructions, links to SQA understanding standards documentation for your subject, or embed the adding learner content (below) videos on the welcome page.

Useful SQA links include

Understanding Standards  

NQ21 pages  to keep up to date


Step 3 – Invite/share the team code with the group of teachers 

At this point, learner evidence can be uploaded.  This can be done by individual teachers. However, it may be that a nominated person from each department uploads content onto individual pages.

In the first instance, you may want to focus on just one area / topic / unit.  For example, Folio from Higher English.

How to add learner content to page

You may be in the position where you have multiple paper based pieces of evidence for a learner.  For example and exam script. If you have a mobile device, you can use the OneDrive and OneNote apps to combine multiple photos of that into a single PDF and insert it into a OneNote page.  

Step 4 – Carrying out Quality Assurance activities

Once the notebook is populated with learner evidence and each page is named appropriately, staff can then carry out QA activities.  This can be done during live meetings of the group where breakout rooms could be utilised and each breakout room is allocated a set number of pages to discuss. Alternatively, the group can agree who will quality assure what pages by a set date and this can be done individually. 

Some examples can be downloaded below

Download Example Use Cases

In recent webinars, these use cases were summarised and presented as a set of slides.  You can get these slides below

Quality Assurance Presentation from webinars

Notes about learner evidence

OneNote allows us to store a wide variety of media on each page.  It is important to mindful about data protection and copyright.

  • Ensure that learners cannot be identified – remove any personally identifiable content eg names from images, documents etc
  • If using video content. do not embed videos where a pupil is visible. In these cases, you can play the video in a live meeting, have the QA discussion and record the outcome in OneNote.  You should make a note on the document that this has happened
  • Video content such as a walkaround of a product that pupil has created can be stored on pages, as long as it is anonymous as with photo/text based content.
  • If you are using assessment materials that have been commercially created, do not upload them to the pages. 

Aberdeenshire EAL Header

Aberdeenshire English as an Additional Language (EAL) Service

aberdeen council logoIn Aberdeenshire, our EAL teachers have been working to find the best ways to support bilingual learners and their families throughout the pandemic, as well as class teachers. If adapting to the challenges of the pandemic and online learning were not hard enough, many children and families have also faced the language barrier, as well as perhaps not being familiar with the Scottish Curriculum and routines and norms that may be taken for granted as something all children and families will think of as normal. Over the last year, our EAL teachers have embraced new ways of working and have developed a range of resources and approaches. Telephone interpreting used to be very rarely used but has now seen demand skyrocket with a lot of positive feedback on its effectiveness in breaking down the language barrier and building relationships between school and family. On several occasions schools have been able to speak to parents who they had not previously managed to reach, and as a result have managed to overcome some barriers that had prevented families from accessing online learning. EAL teachers have also been supporting bilingual learners by sharing advice and resources with class teachers, and also working with some pupils through video conferencing, including teaching SQA ESOL courses. The service has also produced translated comments and videos to support families who may be having difficulty in engaging with online learning.



Translated comments

A range of translated comments were develo­­­­­­ped to support home-school communication and have been used to communicate one way information to families, with comments being successfully used to overcome barriers to engagement:


“Aberdeenshire EAL Service covers a wide geographical area with a number of rural remote communities where our families can be distributed and which can pose communication challenges, particularly when schools are closed to most pupils during this time. One of my larger small town schools, that has a wide catchment area, have a family who were not responding to school information circulars and letters home. I sent the school the translated comments information which included a translation and the school came back and said they found it very useful and were discussing whether to send the translations out to other EAL families across the school.”

Sue Clutterbuck (EAL Teacher)


Translated Text Graphic

Telephone interpreting

Translated letters have also been developed to communicate to parents when the school would like to make a call and offer options that the parent can highlight for when they would be available. This has resulted in several calls with parents being arranged when the school had previously found it difficult to reach the parents.


“I supported a teacher in one of my schools in using the telephone interpreting service for the first time. By using the translated letters we had produced, parents were able to tell her when they would be free and she was able to call them and speak to them for the first time through an interpreter.”

Ian Brownlee (PT of EAL)


Our service has been strongly encouraging schools to use telephone interpreting and in general the feedback has been great (see examples of feedback in the picture below).


Telephone Interpreting Graphic


Translated Videos

We also worked in partnership with Aberdeenshire’s Learning Through Technology Team to develop translated videos that guide pupils/parents on how to log in to glow and how to use Microsoft Teams and Google Classrooms. The videos were produced in the top five most common languages in Aberdeenshire and have been successfully used to support some families in overcoming barriers to accessing and engaging with online learning:

“They used the link, watched the video and it worked! Bingo. ️”

Sarah Jane Bennison (EAL Teacher)

“I sent the video on how to connect to google classrooms to 2 of the P1 teachers from one of my schools, I made sure they had a direct access to the video, so they didn’t have to look around for it. They sent the video to the parents of P1 pupils with little English, who had not been engaged and 1 child the following day was online and the other child the week after.”

Amanda Blackburn (EAL Teacher)

Colleagues in other local authorities have also  given positive feedback on the videos:

“Of course, we have also been signposting homes to the brilliant videos on the use of ICT/GLOW/Teams on the Aberdeenshire site!”

“I’ve watched the translated glow videos your service have made – they are amazing! Would you mind if I shared that link with some of our schools?; the teams one and logging into glow are so valuable right now.”


Translated Video Screen Shot



Some aspects of online learning and supporting pupils remotely have of course been challenging and we are continuing to try to find ways to support bilingual learners, their families and teachers through the continually evolving circumstances. However the above examples have been successes that we were really happy with and delighted to share.

Ian Brownlee

Principal Teacher of English as an Additional Language

Aberdeenshire EAL Service

6. Information Literacy and CRIS

What is information literacy?
“The ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage fully with society.”
CILIP Information Literacy Group

Why should I teach information literacy?

Almost three-quarters of young people say social media is an important source of news to them – although there is growing awareness of its trustworthiness only around a third of young people will question what they read. (Ofcom, 2019)

What can I do?

Educators have responsibility to teach digital literacy, as part of the Technologies curriculum:

  • Searching, processing and managing information responsibly, TCH x-02a
  • Cyber resilience and internet safety, TCH x-03a

and the literacy and English curriculum:

  • Recognise the difference between fact and opinion and progressing to evaluative comments about relevance reliability and credibility with appropriate justification, LIT x-18a

That’s why we’ve developed this page to support you as you teach more effective searching, increased awareness of platforms, and the ability to recognise the difference between fact and opinion. We believe it’s increasingly important that we educate children and young people about how the web works and how the information on it is created and manipulated. As learners increase their knowledge and understanding of the web and online platforms, they should be encouraged to apply the critical thinking skills they have learned in literacy lessons – leading to a healthier, happier and smarter online experience.

Who can help?
Hopefully we can. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch on twitter @DigiLearnScot.

Information literacy is also a key role of school librarians and they are always willing to support learning about it. Find out more about how school librarians can support information literacy learning. The literacy and English curricular team at Education Scotland have more on their national Professional Learning Community site:

Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools national strategy (

Information, Digital Literacy & Digital Creativity (

Spotting Fake News

In this blog post below, learners watched a ‘news story’ and, after evaluating it, wrote their response and justification on the blog page below.

Watch video with your own learners and see if they agree with the learners from Falkirk:


True story or fake news? | Falkirk Pupil Digital Leaders (

This is an example of using digital literacy (blogs) to engage learners.

Digital Media Literacy by GCF Global

This site has lots of free lessons and resources, including this series of lessons on how to interpret and evaluate information online. The lessons are progressive, relevant and each one comes with activities that are easy to adapt for your learners’ needs.


The Detective Digiduck story and resources from Childnet, and author Lindsay Buck, are a great introduction to CRIS and information literacy. In this story Digiduck finds that not everything on the internet can be trusted and that you need to check the reliability of it from a range of sources.

Read the story, listen to the author read it, and access resources here: Detective Digiduck! – Childnet

Younger learners

Fact or fake – BBC Bitesize

This site has lots of information, videos and activities to support you develop your learners’ understanding of what fake news is and how it affects us.

All ages

National Literacy Trust

The NLT has a  fake news and critical literacy resources page with cross-curricular resources for learners of all ages.

They also have their Words for Life page that explains what fake news is, how to spot it and links to The Guardian NewsWise content and has a section on child-friendly news sites: Child-friendly news | NewsWise | The Guardian

All ages

YouTube | Moving Image Education

Moving Image Education has lots of resources and information to support you teach film literacy, including this activity that supports learners evaluate and analyse YouTube content. Let the learners lead the learning by selecting their own video and then analysing it with this scaffolded activity.

Older learners (YouTube appropriate)

Making Sense of Media

Ofcom hosts this site which contains information about media literacy – what it is and how to teach it – alongside reports that explain how, what and why children and young people are accessing media. Read the latest research on the impact of covid on children’s media lives here.

For educators

24 Feb, 1600 – 1700 Early Level Practitioner CRIS Campfire Chat

Wednesday 24th  February 1600-1700

Join our informal ‘campfire chat’ to find out why it is never to early to start the discussions around Cyber Resilience & Internet Safety.

This event takes place in Microsoft Teams within Glow. You will require a glow login to join.  

As part of Cyber Scotland Week , join us with other practitioners working with young learners at the early level to

– find out how you can begin the discussions around Cyber Resilience & Internet Safety, the resources that are available to support the discussions and practical activity suggestions

– share how you are embedding Cyber Resilience & Internet Safety at the early level through play

We will also discuss the Special Recognition Badge for Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety from Digital Schools Awards Scotland. This stand-alone badge is available to all ELC/schools that demonstrate a strategic approach to cyber resilience and internet safety.

Join us here


25 Feb, 1230 – 1300 – What is Thinkuknow?

Thursday 25th  February 1230-1300

Join us on our DigiLearnScot twitter channel, as part of Cyber Scotland Week to find out all about Thinkuknow, the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline.

An informative video will be shared via a tweet at 1230 followed by an opportunity to ask questions/share how you are using the resources with the learners you work with, in the replies using hashtag #digilearnscotCSW

No registration required – drop in when you can!


Join us here


10th Feb, 2021, 16:00 – Independent Learning Strategies in a Digital Environment

You will require a glow login for this webinar. Book Here  

This introductory session, aimed at primary and secondary setting staff, will explore how to develop independent learning strategies and how digital technologies can play a central role to build the skills required to develop self-regulated learners providing ownership and mastery of their learning.

Hear from an experienced practitioner supporting learners to develop independent learning strategies.

Using the National eLearning Offer to Support Learning Webinar 2 – Watch Again

This webinar explored how the National e-Learning Offer can be used to support learning, both remotely and during recovery in school.

The National e-Learning Offer (NeLO) brings together the live learning option from e-Sgoil, recorded content led by West Partnership (West OS) and supported materials identified by teacher networks and organised by Education Scotland. The webinar will inform and update participants on what is available through NeLO.

The main focus of this second webinar is to explore the senior phase Study Support programme that has been running through e-Sgoil as part of NeLO since September 2020. The webinar draws out the key features and experiences of successful live remote teaching and learning for sharing and discussion.

A link to e-Sgoil Study Support page on the website can be found here:

Watch Again

Joan MacKay, Education Scotland provides an introduction and update to the National eLearning Offer

Paul Downie provides an update to the recoded element, West OS


Donald MacLeod, Principal Teacher (e-Sgoil) provides an update and overview of the live offer.


How practitioner Ian Stewart makes use of the wider NeLO resources when delivering live with eSgoil.

How practitioners Andy Brown and Andy Thomson deliver live lessons with eSgoil

National eLearning Offer Webinar available to watch online

Webinar Overview

The webinar giving an overview of the National e-Learning Offer is now available to watch again.  This webinar provides

  • an overview of the live, recorded and supported elements of National eLearning Offer by Joan MacKay from Education Scotland
  • an overview of the live element by Jacqui Yule from e-Sgoil
  • an introduction to to the recorded element by Paul Downie from WestOS
  • inputs from three teachers sharing how they are making use of the recorded content available to support learning and teaching


Introduction: Joan Mackay, Education Scotland

Live Element: Jacqui Yule, e-Sgoil

Recorded Element: Paul Downie, WestOS

Practitioner Input: Tina Visovan, Biology

Practitioner Input: Julie O’Sullivan, Biology

Practitioner Input: Claire Cassidy, Modern Studies