Developing Digital Literacy CPD sessions at Babington Community College

In January, Babington Community College began a BSF ICT Innovation Project which aimed to raise awareness of the web-based tools and services available for supporting teaching and learning. Martin Corbishley, the school’s Computing Subject Leader, set out to achieve this through the delivery of a set of 8 workshops for school staff, covering a range of topics including; using twitter to extend the classroom and making use of online collaboration tools.

Back in March, Martin shared his thoughts on the initial phase of the project. These can be found here:

Improving Digital Literacy at Babington Community College

The project has now come to an end and here Martin shares his reflections on the project as a whole. A summary can be found below and Martin’s full report, including staff feedback on the training, can be downloaded here:

Developing Digital Literacy CPD sessions at Babington Community College

Running the course

The content of the course was intended to show staff what was available online and how it could be used in the classroom.  All resources were designed to be quick to set up, free and easy to use so that they could be implemented straight away into the classroom.

Originally the course was intended to run in school every other week during the Spring term with the distance learning to be completed on the alternate week.  Due to the varied demands on teachers in school it was difficult for all 20 members of staff to attend on the same day so the delivery of the course was instead split into two days running the same session and staff choose the day most suitable for them to attend.  Sessions ran for one hour after school and were delivered solely through the use of the Google Nexus.  The course ran for most of the spring term and into the beginning of the summer term as some sessions had to be postponed due to events on the school calendar.

Reflections

After completing the course, speaking to staff who took part and reading their feedback from the evaluation I believe the course has been a success but could be improved if it was to be delivered again.

The course structure of eight sessions and a mixture of school based and distance learning could be more concise.  I would suggest a condensed four session program just based in school would be a better model moving forward.  Staff responded well to sessions that provided resources that were easy to use and create and that could be implemented into a wide range of lessons, this included technologies such as Socrative quizzes, Edmodo, Google forms and online collaboration boards.

More time consuming and technically proficient technologies such as creating and using a wiki with a class were less enthusiastically received and involvement on the wiki was limited to just a few queries when teachers struggled to set these up.  I would suggest that using wikis would require a whole series of professional development sessions on its own and was too much to expect people to pick up in a week.  Just using the wiki to deliver the sessions was a better way to introduce teachers to the possibilities of the technology by using it for themselves as the learner.

Benefits

This course has benefited both the school as a whole and those that took part in developing their digital literacy.  It has opened peoples’ eyes to what is available and how the internet can be used to enhance how we use technology to deliver lessons. The school will benefit because the digital champions who took part will be sharing ideas and resources with their faculties and this will in turn ensure that the technology available in the new school will be used in a more creative and collaborative way.

Next steps

The new condensed four session CPD program as discussed in section 3 will be put forward to the school’s SLT as a proposed inclusion the school’s CPD calendar for the next academic year.  This would be a rolling program so that all staff can complete it in small workgroups.  It is hoped that once all staff have been provided with their individual laptops as part of the new school network they should have the opportunity to have training on how they can plan and deliver lessons with improved digital literacy through the use of Web 2.0 applications.

Resources

The wiki with links to all resources created for this course can be found here:

http://babingtondigitalliteracy.pbworks.com

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