Back to the Computer
A sustainable future
On this weeks blog I will be talking you through ‘what’s next?’ for Morningside Primary School when it comes to Digital technologies and online Learning platforms.
15TH OF MARCH 2021
This is a significant date in our road to recovery; not only as a school but as a nation that is desperate to get back to some sort of ‘normal’. The confirmation from Scottish Parliament that all Primary age children would be able to return to school on this date was very well received by all the staff at Morningside Primary School, in fact I haven’t personally spoken to one teacher who wasn’t happy or had reservations about this happening.
We can’t wait to welcome all our children back with open arms (for a socially distanced virtual hug) and get to work on supporting learning and moving our kids forward.
But what have we learned in this period of remote learning and what can we now use to enhance our teaching pedagogy?
These important questions have led me to one word; ‘sustainability’. The staff in Morningside have worked so hard this past year to upskill themselves in digital technologies and have embraced Office 365 and Microsoft Teams to bring high quality teaching, learning and assessment to a remote setting. We are very proud as a school with what we have achieved and with the children coming back to the classroom we can now shut down Teams, forget about Office 365 and get those text books open, right?
We now have the chance to integrate these new skills that children and staff have gained over this period and use it to enhance the classroom environment and enrich the learning experiences of our young people. This leads me onto my enquiry which will look at how; as a school, we can look towards sustaining the use of digital technologies to implement a blended learning approach. I will focus on Literacy first of all and look to see how we can utilise various features of Microsoft Teams to support Asynchronous and Synchronous learning.
How will I know what is working and what data will I use to help inform my decisions?
I will utilise the Insights feature on Microsoft Teams to track pupil engagement. This has been a really useful feature of Teams throughout the pandemic as it has allowed us not to only track pupil engagement but to really maximise the value of the data available to identify pupils who were not engaging at different levels and offer the appropriate support to these children.
All tasks set will be through the Assignments tab on Teams. This will allow me to track pupil submissions and engagement. Assignments is another fabulous tool that we have benefitted from as it allows teachers to set specific work to their groups, utilise the rubrics feature and to give personalised feedback to children with clear next steps.
Professional judgment and dialogue
I will liaise with class teachers to measure the engagement and productivity of a blended learning approach within Literacy. Nobody knows the children’s progress in learning better than their class teacher, therefore I will look to gather as much information and evidence from this invaluable resource to support my enquiry.
What will the enquiry actually involve?
- Literacy tasks (mainly reading) will be set via assignments for the children to do away from
the classroom environment.
- Children will be asked to record part of their reading via assignments at home to allow class teachers to maximise teaching and task time within the class.
- I will also look at the possibility of learners having access to short teaching videos at home, before completing a linked task back in the class.
What am I hoping to achieve and when will I want to achieve it by?
The hope is that teacher’s will be able embed the use of Teams and Office 365 within their classroom and that pupils and teachers will be able make use of all their new skills. furthermore;
- Pupils will have carried out tasks at home (monitored via assignments and insights).
- Teachers will have a reduced workload and more time to interact and engage with more pupils during Literacy lessons.
I will write an initial report around May/ June to share my initial findings but hope that this will just be the beginning of a bright future where Digital technologies is very much embedded throughout Morningside Primary school.
What can you do to help?
I have put together a survey for parents to complete that has been included in this week’s assembly but you can also access it by clicking here.
If you have any other additional thoughts about anything I have talked about in this blog post you can also fill out the form below and share those thoughts with me.