Teacher engagement, like ALL stakeholders, is vital from the earliest possible moment, it is one of the main keys to the success of your programme. Teaching staff are right at the front line and will not only have to learn how to use the device but start to change the way they plan and deliver their lessons to fully integrate and tap into the wealth of benefits that the technology can offer.
It will be no surprise that in almost every school enthusiasm from teachers ranges from being “totally up for it” and “eager to get going” to “it has no place in my classroom” and “it adds nothing to my subject!”. The reality is that there is not a single subject that hasn’t found beneficial use. Maths, English, Geography, History and Science are, perhaps, obvious but they are also finding huge benefits too in sports, drama, music, dance and art.
We strongly recommend that you encourage all of your teachers and particularly those that are more sceptical to go online or meet with a peer who is already using technology in their discipline to see and hear how it is being used by other teachers in their subject and at the level they teach too. We often find those who are most sceptical often go on to be the most committed and evangelical.
Ideally you want all of your staff to believe fully in the following:
- The educational value it offers pupils
- The teaching benefits to staff
- The sustainability for future years
- The importance of the ‘fully inclusive’ principal
- The positive value on parental engagement
It is frustrating that teacher training colleges have yet to fully embrace and offer training and CPD on the inclusion of 1:1 technology in the classroom and, as a result, it will be necessary to have planned CPD for some time in the run up to launch and thereafter. Remembering that many pupils may well be more knowledgeable than their teacher, at least at a device level, can be used to positive advantage through the creation of ‘Digital Leaders’.
These ‘Digital Leaders’ would be pupils that are confident in the use of devices and/or some of the software or Apps that you plan to use. They would then share their knowledge with the teaching staff and their fellow pupils. This has been a very successful process in many schools where it not only speeds up learning but also improves respect and enhances responsibility.
Your School Liaison Manager will happily introduce you to schools in your area that are willing to show you how they have made a success of their programme.