Digital learning at USW

Since starting at the University of South Wales I have been developing some new ideas for supporting student teachers as they look to enhance their skills in the use of digital technology.  The key objective is not necessarily about making them experts in all of the apps and programme available but more in the potential that these tools can provide students in primary schools with.  Enhancing learning, treat developing communication, buy inspiring creativity, generic highlighting collaboration and allowing them to think critically.

We do not want students to really be learning all about the tools of technology but to be able to use them to access education in a whole new way.  Its about the choices they make and the adaptability of their approaches to gain new outcomes.

First step on this journey for me was to engage with the students in lectures and tutorials so that they could see how I would integrate it in my own sessions.  No big display of how it works but more a focus on why I would use it and how it helps.  My science sessions and general teaching sessions had aspects of Seesaw, Class Dojo and Kahoot as a way of demonstrating that these are simply tools to help in teaching and learning and that they provide me with evidence of progress over time.

Next up we had the opportunity to run a digital day for our third year students.  They are just finishing the course but we wanted them to have an additional session looking at technology in the classroom.  This turned into an opportunity to work with fellow educators from around the country and I was luck enough to be joined by Kate Cheal, Martin Coutts and Greg Hughes, all of whom have been using technology to great effect in their own practice.  They delivered workshops to the students on literacy, numeracy and science and showed the simple ways that technology makes a real difference to learners in the classroom.

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The next project is to see how we can work closer with our partner schools and provide them with additional support as well as look at new ways we can develop the students on our course.  This summer sees us launch a pilot study into new ways of delivering teacher training and will be working closely with 3 of our partner schools to deliver digital competence training that is fully embedded in school practice.  Our first year students will have a fantastic opportunity to really practice as a group of students in new ways.  This will all be documented in a case study eBook to follow in the summer.

Only been 4 months but things are really starting to take off. 🙂

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