Reflecting on Technology in the Classroom today.

Date: 25 Jan 2021


Blog - Reflecting on Technology in the classroom today.

Technology is forever evolving and as educational practitioners we try our best to keep up with it, even though it is becoming part of our daily lives. As teachers we incorporate it into our lesson so we add diversity to our teaching, because students engage well with technology, we can easily differentiate lessons through this medium, it allows students to work at their pace and can encourage collaborative working. It makes learning fun, it prepares students for the future, and it’s a tool to teach new skills. We use it to give students the opportunity to express their skills. So we know Technology is a great tool for teaching and learning.

The current pandemic has forced and provided us all an opportunity to use this tool and admittedly, skilled some school staff to deliver learning in a way we have not done so previously. These days you are dual teaching, face to face and online, hence using more and more technology to deliver your lessons. As experts in your field, you will have found some great and new teaching strategies to effectively engage and motivate your students, but that does not mean every lesson you deliver has to be singing and dancing or a chore because you are using technology.

Recently, the government set out a guidance to support with remote learning. The key advice in the document they have prepared outlines the following points:

  1. When planning remote education ensure lessons link with the curriculum and follow a sequence to build progress.
  2. Keep the work simple, easy to understand, in small chunks and provide clear learning objectives
  3. Consider the basics of the curriculum and adapt lessons to allow access to the knowledge and concepts required.
  4. Ensure feedback and assessment is built into the lessons, as it is done face to face – via questioning, 1-to-1 discussion, available chat rooms, peer interaction, email.
  5. All lessons do not need to be live lessons, mix up your practice. Pre-record lessons which don’t require active involvement, set research tasks to introduce /develop the next lesson.
  6. Ensure the students are engaged, but inclusion and motivation is equally important. Teachers can’t monitor remote learning so use an approach which will motivate e.g. set up a game like /competitive approach.
  7. Delivery medium – consider the most accessible medium and the one that will cause least distraction or difficulty in accessing.
  8. Not every lesson has to use technology, don’t forget the ‘old’ textbook every now and again.

Going forward we know this is an area of interest for Ofsted too, during their visit they will be looking at; ‘how schools are educating in the current circumstances’. However we need to remember current circumstance will have a toll on areas of health and wellbeing and one of the ways schools prepare students to address the issues is through their  well-planned PSHE lessons. PSHE, will be a core subject as of April and we need to ensure it is part of our regular teaching curriculum, even more so now than ever.

Recently, in one of my lunch breaks, (the joy of working from home), I watched an episode of the BBC bite size programme. I was totally enthused in the way they introduced topics to varying subjects. This included PSHE. Below are PSHE links for all Key stages to videos and topics provided by BBC that you can use to develop your lessons.

KS1 PSHE - BBC Teach

KS2 PSHE and Social Studies - BBC Teach

KS3 PSHE and Modern Studies - BBC Teach

KS4 GCSE PSHE and National 5 Modern Studies Teacher Resources - BBC Teach

A little reminder, that you can complete the Swindon Healthy Schools Mental award/audit to see what provisions your school already has in place to support young people and staff and what support you may require to develop this work further.

Furthermore this pandemic will impact on young people who are unable to take exams again this year. Chameleon PDE have developed two resource packs, one for age 15-16 students due to sit GCSEs and the other for 17-18 year-olds. The materials are completely free of charge and designed to be used either online or sent to students to work on independently at home. To access this resource simply register with Chameleon PDE  and you will then be able to download the materials.

There are a range of other free materials available and all Chameleon PDE resources are fully referenced to the personal development curricula of the 4 UK nations. Materials are also compliant and mapped to the new DFE statutory guidance for RSHE that schools are expected to start from summer term 2021.

On a final note, please get in touch with any questions, queries or support you think we can provide for you.