Category Archives: CPD programmes (IO2)

The hand book will contain descriptions and comparisons of different modes and delivery models for Continuing Professional Development designed to promote the adoption and use of digital technologies in the classroom. It will also look at how teachers competences can be developed so that they are in a position to help primary teachers deliver the new curriculum requirements with respect to ICT. It will contain case studies, examples of good practice, specimen programmes etc together with practical suggestions and tips.

There is a considerable body of work around training trainers and teachers, and a smaller but significant number of publications on training teachers to use technology for learning. However, almost all of them are academic papers or research reports. We will take that research together with the experiences of expert trainers in the field and translate it into a practical handbook for professionals who have to design, organise and deliver CPD opportunities and other training events for teachers.

We will also test the handbook in the Vocational Education and Training and Adult education sectors.

Presenting my contributions to TACCLE4 CPD project – Part Four: Shaping a new Theme Room Training framework

In my previous posts I have given an overview of the reports for our ongoing TACCLE4 CPD projects that I had completed so far. At the end I have mentioned that all the reports so far provide contributions to a new framework for developing training for teachers and trainers – with emphasis on promoting digital competences in the context of vocational learning. Already in the previous reports I had made the point that this should be based on the Theme Room training concept that was initiated and implemented in the Learning Layers project. During last week I have written a draft report to outline such a framework.  Below I will present some background information and the concluding section of the report. I think that they will give an idea, what kind of framework is taking shape.

The idea of Theme Room Training – oringins and new perspectives

This framework is being prepared as a final product of the EU-funded project TACCLE4-CPD. The project has continued the work of earlier TACCLE projects in promoting digital competences of school teachers. However, concerning the field of VET, this project drawn upon the experiences of the EU-funded project Learning Layers (LL). The LL project developed digital tools and training concepts to support workplace-based and vocational learning. The concept of “Theme Rooms” was developed as a part of the LL project to promote digital competences of vocational trainers.

The training in ‘Theme Rooms’ was initiated by the above-mentioned trainers who wanted to develop a more systematic training arrangement. With this approach they wanted to reach all training staff in their organisation. In this way they wanted to promote the use of digital tools in all areas of apprentice training.

The idea of Theme Rooms was based on the following pedagogic principles:

  • Combination of real and virtual learning spaces for focused thematic blocks for promoting digital competences;
  • Signing in into ‘theme rooms’ for completing the learning sessions with exercises and then signing out (with a flexible tempo);
  • Working together in teams in terms of peer learning and peer tutoring;
  • Rotating between different themes in order to reach common awareness of the subject matter and to develop a common competence base.

The concept of Theme Room training was put into practice as a staff training campaign during one month. This training campaign based on the Theme Room concept helped the trainers to become users of the LTB in their own training. Now, in the current situation, it is possible to identify many parallel approaches to introduce digital tools and new media into vocational learning. At the same time there are new qustions concerning the significance of digital technologies in the context of vocational education and training (VET). These are taken up in the new framework.

What does the new framework stand for?

The main elements of the framework are thematic blocks that can be used as a basis for the Theme Rooms of the updated training concept. The following set of thematic blocks is presented in the further sections below:

In the first thematic block the framework draws attention to digital transformation (as a major socio-cultural challenge) and to digitization (as a more specific development). This block invites to think, how VET provisions can prepare for such processes and/or provide co-shaping contributions.

The second thematic block discusses the readiness of older and younger learners to use digital media and tools in the context of vocational learning. This block invites to think, how older teachers, trainers and workplace mentors can find their own ways to use such tools to promote vocational learning. Also, it invites to think, how younger learners can best familiarise themselves with work processes, uses of traditional tools and digital tools in their own learning.

The third thematic block presents a set of parallel “Innovation paths” for introducing digital tools into vocational learning contexts and to enhance the digital competences of teachers, trainers and learners. Four of these paths have been named on the basis of specific projects or their final products – the Kompetenzwerkstatt, Learning Toolbox, Brofessio and CARO paths. The fifth path refers to smart uses of Open Educational Resources (OER). This block invites to think, what kind of vocational learning contexts are relevant for the user and what can be learned from the exemplary cases.

The fourth thematic block presents insights into the TACCLE4 CPD Routemap tool and its uses for organisational planning (of the use of ICT resources) and development of training (with focus on promoting digital competences). For both purposes the Routemap outlines levels of proficiency with corresponding criteria. In this way the tool invites to think, at what stage is the organisation regarding its use of ICT resources and what kind of steps can be taken with the help of training.

Altogether, the framework invites the readers to think of their own solutions and to find their own ways to promote digital competences in their field. Thus, the framework provides starting points and gives further impulses and references for further developmental work.

I guess that this is enough of the idea of the Theme room Training 2020 framework. I need to emphasise that it is still under construction. As I see it, the texts for the thematic blocks have already been shaped. Yet, each block needs a further layer for comments, questions, resources and impulses. So, there is still some more work to be done.

Teaching Control Technologies to younger children

These resources are designed to be used by teacher trainers or for teacher CPD courses. We have tried and tested all of the Taccle workshops with teachers across Europe as part of the Taccle projects.

Here we share our aims, objectives, and resources. You are free to use and repurpose the materials under the cc license at the bottom of the site.

 

Robotics / control technology for younger children

At the end of the session, teachers will be able to:

 

Use cubelets to solve simple programming problems

Programme a Beebot and demonstrate some examples of how the can use it in the classroom

List the advantages and disadvantages of each, their value for money and their applicability to the age range.

Resources

Control Technologies for Younger Children

 

 

 

Literature Review

The attached document is work in progress on a literature review for the Taccle 4 project. It is focused on  the way that in-service teachers are being helped to gain skills in changing technologies and new pedagogies.

However it notes that there are a series of constraints and issues in this field. Firstly, CPD in this area has grown much faster than the research. Blog posts, on-line forums, conferences and other forms of communication suggest that far more is happening than is recorded in published research.

Secondly, Daly, Pachler and Pelletier (2009) argue that “the literature provides evidence that many effective approaches to ICT CPD are in place, but they remain localised” #CPD is fragmented – unlike initial training, it is not a homogenous model and interesting small scale developments may not be widely disseminated. What ICT CPD lacks in coherence, it makes up for in innovation but this is difficult to capture. As Daly, Pachler and Pelletier (2009) note, it is “a very varied provision which has grown ahead of a comparable rate of research into its effects.”

Thirdly there are issues around definitions. We have already raised the problem of defining e-learning but defining ‘CPD’ is also problematic – in terms of exactly what can be labelled as ‘CPD’ and also in terms of scale. As Becta (2006) points out:

“However, it is worth noting that the lack of a commonly agreed and well understood set of definitions of e-learning competences, taken together with the uncertainty about what constitutes good practice and effective pedagogy for e-learning, may have led many respondents to overstate the e-learning skills levels of staff.”

Fourthly, the data sources of some of the published research should be taken into account. For example, the statement  “Some 80 per cent of colleges offered staff development programmes to support staff who wished to develop or adapt e-learning materials.” (Becta, 2006) is based on the replies to a postal questionnaire sent to college principals.

Finally, in looking at research into effective practices in ICT CPD in order to draw out what appear to be critical success factors, it is hard to isolate “… CPD issues which are specific to ICT CPD [as opposed to those] which are linked to wider approaches to the effective professional development of teachers.” (Daly, Pachler and Pelletier, 2009).

lit reveiw work in progress notes

About IO2: Digital Technology in the Classroom – A handbook for teacher trainers

The hand book will contain descriptions and comparisons of different modes and delivery models for Continuing Professional Development designed to promote the adoption and use of digital technologies in the classroom. It will also look at how teachers competences can be developed so that they are in a position to help primary teachers deliver the new curriculum requirements with respect to ICT. It will contain case studies, examples of good practice, specimen programmes etc together with practical suggestions and tips.

There is a considerable body of work around training trainers and teachers, and a smaller but significant number of publications on training teachers to use technology for learning. However, almost all of them are academic papers or research reports. We will take that research together with the experiences of expert trainers in the field and translate it into a practical handbook for professionals who have to design, organise and deliver CPD opportunities and other training events for teachers.

We will also test the handbook in the Vocational Education and Training and Adult education sectors.

Twilight sessions

Methods of Training – Twilight sessions

Jen Hughes

 

These are a well-established mechanisms of staff development across subject and policy areas. In a 6 month ‘test’ period we have undertaken twilight sessions in 8 different primary schools with 5 of those schools asking for a follow up session.

 

Typically, the session will start at about 3.45 – 4.00pm and finish between 5.30 and 6.00 averaging 2 hours with a 15 minute coffee break. The session may be voluntary, open to any teacher or teaching assistant that wants to attend or part of a mandatory programme of staff meetings and events.

 

It is difficult to generalise the format because in each case the ‘brief’ from the head teacher or head of IT will be slightly different. However, all our twilight sessions have a certain pattern.

 

Firstly, twilight sessions are often a harassed head teacher’s way of introducing teachers and TA to the new curriculum for IT / Digital Competence Framework. It is basically a scattergun approach. All staff need to know the basics and a short, sharp twilight session for everyone seems a good idea to set the ball rolling. There are many advantages. In two hours the trainer can keep teachers’ attention and ‘entertain’ them at the end of the working day by using a wide range of equipment and materials demonstrating the use of IT across the curriculum and with different ages. It is easy to build in practical activities and ideas that will stimulate their imagination. Two hours is not a long period to concentrate and, given that they will all have done a day’s work beforehand, works well as a time slot. To that extent, twilight sessions are ideal for awareness raising, introducing teachers to practical activities and providing a measure of reassurance that they will be able to cope with the new requirements.

 

However, there are serious disadvantages to this model. It is expensive – in a primary school there are rarely more than 12 people in a group. Although the session might only be 2 hours, the set-up and packing up if the trainer is using a lot of practical activities can easily take another 1 ½ hours plus travel time. It is also an awkward time to combine with other activities – we have found that delivering a twilight session means leaving the office, on average, at 2 – 2.30 which means that no other activities are possible after lunch. Half a day of trainer time – excluding preparation – to train 12 people for less than 2 hours is not cost effective.

 

There are other problems with twilight sessions. In two hours it is possible to engage staff and give them a flavour of what is expected. The evaluation sheets show that staff enjoy the sessions and they are motivated to get started. However, it is difficult to do more than provide a ‘snap shot’, which is a good starter but which needs rapid follow up. It is almost impossible in 2 hours to consider in any detail progression or integration with thematic work. The other operational problem is that if there is a second twilight session organised, it is always a problem guaranteeing the same staff will be there. Finally, it requires a fairly experienced trainer as if staff are sampling maybe 6 or 8 different activities, it means the trainer needs to be confident in planning and delivering a wide range of content, using very different technologies.

 

Nevertheless, it is a useful model. On the whole, teachers are quite prepared to stay for twilight sessions as long as they are not too frequent and the more senior staff prefer them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Implementing The Welsh Digital Competence Framework in the Foundation Phase

Cylchoed Meithrin

What the (Welsh) Digital Competence Framework means for Methrin (Foundation Phase)

 

Introduction

4 strands 

  • Citizenship
  • Interacting and collaborating
  • Producing
  • Data and computational thinking

 

4 main points 

  1. Neither teachers nor children have to become experts in computer programming overnight, it does not mean that the children will be stuck looking at tablets or computer screens more often than they do now and it doesn’t need lots of money spent on technology.

 

  1. Just because a lesson uses technology does NOT mean it is an ICT/DCF lesson. Conversely, most of the activities that contribute directly to delivering the DCF at this age can be delivered without technology

 

  1. Less emphasis on Schemes of Work, more emphasis on integration across curriculum and thematic approach

 

  1. Many of the activities you do already can be enhanced or adapted to deliver DCF.  Remember, all the Meithrin competences are preceded by “…with increasing independence”. You are just setting the foundations for what will be developed further in Derbyn, Dosbarth Un / Dau

 

Suggested CPD activities

20 minutes on trying out some ‘unplugged’ activities, including playground games, which develop a range of digital competences and require  ‘homemade’ kit

 

Unplugged activity DCF strand Sub-strand Competence
Coding cards

 

Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Complete patterns and sequences

 

Emoticon cards Citizenship Online behaviour and cyberbullying Identify emotions of others on a range of digital software, e.g. talk about feelings and begin to recognise emotions;

 

Human robots

 

Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Follow a simple sequence of instructions

 

1 and 2 variable sorting Data and Computational Thinking Data and information literacy

 

recognise that there are different types of data, e.g. sort and/or match objects/photographs/symbols

 

Sticks and stones

 

Data and Computational Thinking Data and information literacy

 

sort familiar objects using set criteria.

 

 

 

15 mins playing with a range of kit e.g. different robots and other non-screen user interfaces so that they can make an informed choice if they are thinking of buying anything

 

Activity DCF strand Sub strand Competence

 

Recognising card / wooden pathways

 

Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Complete patterns and sequences

 

Beebot cards and pockets Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Follow a simple sequence of instructions

Create one step instructions and identify the next step

 

Dash and Dot – gathering snow sheep

 

Data and Computational Thinking Problem solving and modelling

 

Follow a process making simple adjustments when needed

 

Cozmo Citizenship

 

Identity, image and reputation

 

Identify emotions of others on a range of digital software, e.g. talk about feelings and begin to recognise emotions

 

 

 

 

15 mins playing with some creative apps that develop digital competence and really work well with 3-4 yr olds

 

 

Activity DCF strand Sub strand Competence

 

Quiver Producing Planning, sourcing and searching

 

Explore and use different multimedia components in order to capture and use text, image, sound, animation and video.

 

Adding sound to emoticons Producing Creating Explore and use different multimedia components in order to capture and use text, image, sound, animation and video.

 

Osmo Producing Planning, sourcing and searching

 

Navigate through a piece of software using an internal menu to find desired item.

 

QR Christmas book Producing Creating

 

Explore and use different multimedia components in order to capture and use text, image, sound, animation and video.

 

Chatterpix Producing Evaluating and improving

 

Describe in response to questions some of what has been done in the task, e.g. add comments using recording feature in software.