February 25th, 2019 saw the launch of ‘Digital Access for All’ (DAFA) on the Terrace at the House of Lords in brilliant Spring sunshine. The Taskforce was initiated by the Learning Foundation with the support of Nominet, and has a commitment to design and deliver solutions to the perennially stubborn problem of digital exclusion. Lack of access entrenches those already at a disadvantage by further negatively impacting their financial and educational future.
The vision of the Taskforce is to ensure that all children and young people in the UK have equal access to digital and the benefits it provides and specifically over the next three year to respond to the needs of "1 million families of school-aged children that have either no access or inadequate access to a device or connectivity".
The Learning Foundation, is working with Magpie Education to help develop an exciting new ‘AI driven’ resource tool. Designed to support teachers, this tool will allow the integration of the best-in-class resources and the latest educational technology. Specifically designed to help busy teachers produce lesson plans that not only address the curriculum but provide them with a comprehensive guide to inspiring lesson plans designed to maximise student engagement with the subject.
The project will take one subject at a time, starting with Computing, where Magpie Education have experience and an established track record. The development of this project was considered so significant that Innovate UK (the Government’s innovation agency) have provided grant funding to speed the development of what they see as a key product development that could prove invaluable to schools across the country.
We are looking for schools to help develop this tool so that it can truely offer avery school a chance to provide high quality, engaging and inspiring learing opportuities for every child with the minimum stress and pre-planning by the teachers.
The e-Learning Foundation was very pleased to have been chosen to represent the UK in a major 2 year EU project investigating and developing innovative teaching and learning scenarios involving the use of tablets in and out of school.
The project conducted a series of trials to collect evidence on the implementation, impact and up-scaling of 1:1 pedagogical approaches using tablets. The evidence collected will enable policy makers to make more informed decisions. The project ended in mid-2015 and involved nine Ministries of Education across Europe and 45 teachers and classrooms are already making use of tablets. The final assessment of the CCL project was conducted by the Executive Agency and scored very well with a global score of 9/10.
Research Schools & their Lead Teachers were coordinated by the e-Learning Foundation in the UK and included:
- Phil Spoors, Lead Teacher, from Cramlington Learning Village in Northumberland
- Craig Bull from The Skinners’ Kent Academy in Kent
- Jonathan Else from Gracemount High School in Edinburgh
- Lisa Cowell from Penwortham Priory Academy in Lancashire
- Stephen Lea from The Williamson Trust in Kent
What is the Creative Classrooms Lab project about?
The 1:1 computing paradigm is rapidly changing, particularly given the speed with which tablets from different vendors are entering the consumer market and beginning to impact on the classroom. Over the next few years policy makers will face some difficult choices: How to invest most efficiently in national 1:1 computing programmes? What advice should be available to schools that are integrating tablets?
To address these challenges, the Creative Classrooms Lab project carried out a series of policy experimentations to collect evidence on the implementation, impact and up-scaling of 1:1 pedagogical approaches using tablets. This evidence will go on to enable policy makers to take more informed decisions.
Lessons drawn from the policy experimentation also:
- Provided guidelines, examples of good practice and a training course for schools wishing to include tablets as part of their ICT strategy.
- Supported capacity building within Ministries of Education and regional educational authorities encouraging them to introduce changes in their education systems.
- Enabled policy makers to foster large-scale uptake of the innovative practice observed during the project.
Who was involved?
The overall project was coordinated by European Schoolnet, a unique network of 30 Ministries of Education in Europe and funded by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme. The nine Ministries of Education or organisations nominated to act on their behalf as project partners:
- Belgium (Flanders & Wallonia)
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
The observation and documentation of innovative practice in participating schools was led by the University of Wolverhampton and an expert Pedagogical Board oversaw the project. Chris Foreman from Homewood School in Kent was selected as a member of that Board.
What did the project do?
The Creative Classrooms Lab project (CCL) brought together teachers and policy-makers in eight countries to design, implement and evaluate 1:1 tablet scenarios in 45 schools. The project produced learning scenarios and activities, guidelines and recommendations to help policy-makers and schools to take informed decisions on optimal strategies for implementing 1:1 initiatives in schools and for the effective integration of tablets into teaching and learning. The project, funded by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, was coordinated by European Schoolnet, involved 10 partners and ran from April 2013 to May 2015. Specifically the project:
- Acted as an ideas lab bringing together policy makers, innovative teachers and technology suppliers to jointly develop innovative pedagogical scenarios on how tablets can support new learning and teaching methods.
- Conducted action research pilots based on these scenarios in 45 classrooms that are already equipped with tablets.
- Focused on how practice is changing as a result of tablets being used for collaboration, personalisation and active learning.
- Explored how tablets can be successfully integrated with classroom technologies already in mainstream use.
- Provided capacity building workshops to support ministries in introducing changes in their education systems in order to foster large-scale implementation of innovative practice involving 1:1 computing approaches.
- Provided a Literature Review on the use of tablets in classrooms across the world.
At the completion of the 2nd stage of the UK project the following video was produced by the e-Learning Foundation to demonstrate the impact at one of the participating schools; The Skinners’ Kent Academy in Kent.
There is an extremely good website with lots of material, videos and advice on many aspects of introducing 1:1 tablets programmes into school and into class.
This website also has a superb MOOC called Creative Use of Tablets in Schools and is designed to inspire teachers across Europe in using tablets to innovate their teaching. The course can be directly accessed here too.