Category: Glasgow City

rosshall academy logo

Navigating Digital Learning Through Curriculum Planning.

Learning and Teaching

At Rosshall Academy, the announcement by Glasgow City Council that every student would receive an iPad came at a time when staff members were refining their Broad General Education curriculums.  Through supported collegiate and faculty meetings our school had already critically engaged with literature that looked to ensure an inclusive curriculum that met the refreshed narrative of Broad General Education as set out in 2019. We wanted to structure a course through the principles of simplicity, consistency and clear recognition of skills. We also took into great consideration how our curricular designs helped students emulate and embody the four capacities, in order to ensure they are given the best possible start to their future. The introduction of digital literacy to our learning plans allowed for more creativity in our initial ideas, and so was naturally included in discussion from this point onwards. This allowed for the creation of my role as Digital Literacy Coordinator, in which I took responsibility for helping colleagues identify worthwhile and robust aspects of digital literacy that could be incorporated with these BGE plans. This role was create under the umbrella of Learning and Teaching Development within the school, with the intention being to ensure digital learning is used in a valuable and enriching way to further bolster excellent curricular design.

 

By December of 2019 teaching staff had received their iPads and training, and the illimitable possibilities within digital literacy were now tangible. Staff understood that digital literacy was not just a means for supporting a subject’s own learning, but carried value of its own. With this in mind, we continued to work on exciting curriculums that would ensure our students would have a greater knowledge and understanding of our curricular areas, as well as including the skills needed for learning, life and work that could be achieved through digital literacy. Given Digital Literacy is the responsibility for all teachers to deliver, alongside Numeracy, Literacy and Health & wellbeing, is was important for all staff to contribute to, and feel competent in, delivering digital literacy within their classroom. I also highlighted to staff members that at this point in time, we are trying to prepare students for jobs that might no yet exist. Given that we are in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution, we must have young people prepared with the skills required for work, and feeling like they can fulfil the four capacities. Looking at the technological advances in the past 20 years it was clear to me that we have to prepare our young people for as much change and innovation as possible. With my support as the Digital Literacy Coordinator, we looked at the different opportunities core Apple apps provided, as well as experimenting with others such as Green Screen and Book Creator. Staff found where they could effectively integrate these into lessons and assessments with support, and were enthused by the opportunities platforms such as Showbie and Teams provided in terms of homework, workload and feedback.

 

We were also motivated by the opportunities that working with iPads and digital literacy allowed as we sought to help our students in raising their attainment – work could now be handed in with oral annotations or typed to be more accessible. It opened up a range of additional opportunities to our students requiring further support in some learning areas. Our EAL students will have better access to translating apps, as old the teacher to enforce better relationships. Our VI students could now access a range of apps with enlarged text and ‘text to speech’ functions. Our learners with additional support requires could also adapt the iPad’s accessibility features to suit their needs, and those with some interrupted spells of learning would now have a quicker, more efficient method of gaining support from their teachers.

 

Challenges and opportunities of COVID and Lockdown

The staff enthusiasm for the integration of iPads into daily school life was a blessing when we were plunged into lockdown. Though our students did not yet have their iPads, many teachers had already given them snapshots of what digital learning would look like in the near future. Classroom-style apps had already been set up by several staff members, and those who had not worked to have these installed prior to the school closure. This has meant that despite the difficult and sudden circumstance, we have had much success in moving to digital and distance-based learning.

 

Year groups were given an overview to the basic apps they might be asked to use during lockdown, and information about accessing these and Glow emails were distributed to students and families in through various routes. Robert Cleveland, PT of Employability and Family Engagement, revamped the school website, with pastoral and curricular education. Students and families now had another way to access their subjects, and could find a well of information and useful contacts.

 

Our staff has also engaged in many in-house CLPL sessions via Teams. Delivered by our DLOLs, we have recorded and held live webinars exploring some apps furthers and providing a centre for question-asking and tip-sharing between staff to support each other. This hub of positive activity and professional learning has encouraged further growth in confidence in many staff members, whose new skills and knowledge ultimately transferred into a positive learning experience for student

By surveying staff and pupils, there has been a positive response to how our distance and digital learning has gone. There have been teething problems, and it is important to recognise the barriers in place to some students during this time in terms of access to digital equipment, but staff have endeavoured to find as many routes around these issues as possible

Our Digital Future

Though we are not sure just what our next school year may look like yet, the staff and I at a Rosshall academy are excited to continue on our digital learning journey when all students receive their iPads. We have worked hard to give all new S5 and 6 students receive their iPads prior to the summer break, to ensure they can access a much material as they wish to going into qualification years. With a focus of the new school yea likely being blended learning, we are developing materials to support staff, pupils an parents alike to help navigate this learning and teaching method. We are also looking to blend our extensive training on Making Think Visible strategies with our new-found technology in order to support students fully when they are learning in school and at distance.  Though there will continue to be some obstacles, I believe our collective engagement with digital literacy from a curricular planning level has meant we are equipped to help lead our students through this unusual time. In the face of difficulty, we create, innovate and elevate.

Sophie Lamont is the Digital Literacy Coordinator of Rosshall Academy, and is a Teacher of Dance and Drama within the school’s Faculty of Performing Arts.

email: gw16lamontsophie@glow.sch.uk
twitter: @rosshall_dl

 

all saints schhol logo and teacher bit moji

Adapting to Teaching Online – Gillian Gillen, All Saints Secondary School, Glasgow

 

Since lockdown kicked in my main concern as a teacher has been – how do we reach our learners? Pupils had all been given their Glow logins and passwords before the school closed, so we all created Glow groups and started sending tasks online. People rose to the challenge, sending fun, modern meaningful lessons with variety and structure.  

Then the reality of Digital Literacy kicked in – many young people struggled to access their work and for those who did see the emails and reply, attaching a document was not straightforward. It is often taken for granted, Digital Literacy. There is a general expectation amongst adults that young people are ‘whizz kids’ with technology. In my experience, across a number of schools, that is not the case.

 

Our Council is providing iPads to learners – this plan was in place well before Covid19. It is a staggered rollout, so some schools already have their devices, and some are still scheduled to receive theirs over the coming months. Being an active member of the Digital Working Group, I had already started preparing. I have a Student Digital Leaders of Learning group and they were creating resources for use across the school. We had iPad training events where we promoted the use of OneDrive so that lessons were readily accessible on staff iPads. I started a Digital Newsletter to smooth the transition to Apple: 

 When staff were issued iPads earlier than planned it looked like we were all going to have ample time to prepare ourselves to support learners with their iPads. But now we aren’t in school. Collaboration and development opportunities have been lost and our priorities have swung towards doing the best we can with what we have, and adapting rapidly to the ever-changing needs of our learners. 

Most of our learners have a device of some sort at home (some don’t, and they’ve been sent Home Learning Packs). I did a short video on how to access Glow, showing learners how to add to their Launch Pad and which Apps they would need. As my first wave of lessons went out, I quickly realised that pupils who would normally embrace the tasks weren’t responding to the emails. The Glow groups default meant that emails to the Group weren’t going to their Inboxes and instead could only be viewed if the pupil went into their group. If you access Glow from a browser like Safari or Chrome on a mobile, you can’t even see the Groups menu. I filmed a short video on how to access Glow Groups from a mobile, and I changed the defaults on my groups. We put it on the school’s Facebook feed and waited. Gradually, there were more responses coming in, but still not as many as we’d like. 

I had screen recorded some of my lessons, doing a voiceover and taking my virtual learners through PowerPoints. I also downloaded my class novel and audiobook, and screen recorded my Kindle as it read the first chapter of the book. I sent these out and settled into some semblance of a routine. My younger learners really enjoyed the videos and were taking photos of their work and sending it in. I used Mark Up and my Apple Pencil to correct and offer feedback, drawing sparkly stars on their work and sending it back. It was when I was chatting to teacher friends on WhatsApp that I discovered that this, too, wasn’t common practice. I recorded a short video showing how I Screen Record a PowerPoint lesson, then sent it to my WhatsApp group. The questions then came back thick and fast – but where is my screen record button, how did you get Kindle to read the story etc. I responded, adapted my videos and sent more. I then started to drop them onto a YouTube channel so that they would be easier to find. I’ve improved them a bit, using iMovie to edit out passwords and adding a little background music to the ones for learners. I’ve since added clips on sending Word documents, logging onto Glow in Word, and using the dictate and Immersive Reader on Word. I have plans for more. 

These have all been in response to questions sent to me, both from pupils and colleagues. I’ve had some lovely stories sent by pupils since, all carefully typed into Word then shared links on Glow. Still not as many as I’d like.  I’m hoping that once we are all back at school I’ll gradually be able to show my other learners face to face how to do these things, so that they can continue to build on their digital literacy skills and really make the most of all the fantastic resources available to them online. If learners have the technical ability to access and respond to the lessons, it will improve their blended learning experiences. We are now gradually introducing Teams to learners, and using it for lessons; I think this will be where the fun really begins! 

Gillian Gillen 

 

 

create logo - glasgow

30 Days of Creativity

Glasgow Education Services CREATE was set up in 2016 to raise the profile of expressive arts and creativity as a means to raise attainment and achievement across the curriculum. Our focus is on supporting schools to think differently and creatively in order to equip children and young people with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to thrive in our interconnected, digital and ever-changing world.

 

30 Days of Creativity is a partnership between Glasgow CREATE, Glasgow City Council’s digital learning project; ‘Connected Learning,’ and Apple. This project encourages children and young people to use technology as a platform not simply to consume digital content, but also to promote creativity in learning.

 

Apple launched a ‘30 Days of Creativity’ challenge worldwide a number of weeks ago and have now partnered with us to deliver a short creative challenge each day for 30 days which is fun for children, young people and their families to complete. New challenges go live at 1pm each day on the Glasgow CREATE Youtube channel, https://bit.ly/2YA4seP, where you will find video demonstrations for all our challenges so far.

The project was launched on 4 May and will run until 18 Jun, however, the challenges can be done in any order or revisited at any time.

 

We have seen a tremendous uptake so far from children, young people, families and teachers across Glasgow who are taking this opportunity to develop their digital literacy and creativity skills!

 

You can see what others have been doing during Glasgow’s 30 Days of Creativity by searching on Twitter for #CreativityForKids #GetGlasgowCreating and #GCCKeepsSafeKeepLearning.

digital learning for all logo from glasgow

Remote Learning in Glasgow

To date 81% of teachers and 41% of pupils now have 1:1 managed iPads through our Connected Learning Programme. The deployment has now restarted remotely firstly to teachers which will be followed by remote pupil deployment. All iPads are managed to ensure safe usage by pupils at home.

In response to the imminent closure of schools GCC created a remote learning site for teachers to access teacher, pupil and parent support materials for the main platforms used successfully in schools to engage with pupils, parents and each other: Seesaw, Showbie and Teams.

In addition we have been hosting webinars each week by teachers for teachers: Apple teacher Mondays 3.00 – 4.00 and Coffee – Break Learning 10.30 – 11.00 Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

To date we have over 1100 teachers signed up for the webinars with between 150 and 250 teachers tuning in each day. All webinars are recorded for watching at a suitable time. The Remote Learning support materials and webinars can be accessed at:

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/gc/remotelearningglasgow/ 

Twitter @DL_for_All    

#DigiLearnGla   #GCCkeepsafekeeplearning