St. Paul’s Catholic School had a ‘Back to Basics’ workshop for staff, which was an opportunity to review the basic use of 365. We concentrated on Teaching and Learning strategies using
Teacher Dashboard, pupil use of email, Video and One Drive.
Some of the strategies we’ll be trying out in our classrooms over the next few weeks include…
Encouraging pupil collaboration and independent learning through the use of email questions. You can use simple 365 tools like email to encourage students to ask questions to each other, research answers and check each other’s work.
Collaborative writing. Using One Drive to create a shared document is a great way to complete collaborative writing tasks, either whole class or with groups in the class for differentiation. It also is a great way of simply tracking and encouraging peer assessment. By using the projector, the editor flags make it easy for all to see who is contributing (and keep pupils on task!)
Use of video for flipped learning. Using 365 video for homework means that pupils can come to the lesson having already watched the key extracts, saving precious lesson time.
Use of Teacher Dashboard to improve marking and feedback. By setting and marking work on Teacher Dashboard, we will have all feedback for a class on a single document, allowing for quick interventions or extension tasks to respond to the feedback, this time through the use of groups within the class.
Open Education Resources available from this workshop:
A first look at the new sharepoint portal being developed at The City of Leicester College – just the styling for now, not the content or features. The approach has been to follow the brand look-and-feel (from our public website) in terms of colours, characteristics, heading/title typography etc. – but without compromising SharePoint’s functions and features.
The design development site’s navigation elements (top bar) are currently dummies apart from ‘TEST PAGE’ and ‘TEST PAGE 2’ that show options for individual page layouts and colour treatments. The ‘Subjects’ link is to show the drop-down menu style. The homepage will carry the required portal ‘widgets’ and links – the full width picture has been added to show the option for full width ‘title’ images.
I created this video for a recent “Teach Meet” at my College. I had intended to present on Office 365 Video, but then couldn’t make the event due to another commitment. Instead, I recorded my presentation using Microsoft Office Mix, a free extension to PowerPoint, and uploaded it to Office 365 Video. I was then able to give my presentation virtually without actually being in the room. Awesome!
Office 365 Video is set to become an essential part of the VLE we are building at The City of Leicester College within Office 365 SharePoint. This video explains Office 365 Video and suggests how we can use it within school, within our classrooms, and independently .
The City of Leicester College are creating channels to store copyright content to share with our students, and also as a repository of our own created material. Students can also upload their own creations to Office 365 video directly from their iPads, using the “Office 365 Video for iPhone” App.
We are about to undertake a year long project focused around assessment and feedback using digital learning.
The main focus will be how we can use iPads and BYOD to assess students in and out of lessons. We will be using a range of methods such as QR Codes, App (Socrative and Quizlet) as well as discovering new ways with the school.
We have set up a dedicated team with one member of each faculty as a Digital Champion to help focus and support individual faculties to raise to help train and support Digital Learning across the school.
We shall be promoting the progress along with other digital learning through #DigitalRushey via Twitter. Please feel free to click on the link to see our progress so far.
At Rushey Mead Academy every faculty uses a Twitter account and we have developed and produced a policy within school that works and allows us to optimise the learning that can be achieved by twitter. As part of the digilit network I would be happy to share how we got to this stage.
The City of Leicester College is looking to move much of its Team storage and collaboration spaces to SharePoint. We have already moved our email system to Office 365, and started to develop some useful online learning resources in some subject areas. Some staff are already making use of OneDrive as their primary storage area, and are using this to share work with each other and their students.
Two years ago, thc College used some innovation funding to help develop this further and to create useful learning resources for the Mathematics Faculty. We are now ready for the next phase of development, which is to move our entire staff team away from using local network drives to store and share their work, and to make OneDrive and SharePoint Sites the primary repository for all our work.
There are many advantages to this approach for us as a college over the present situation, but mostly:
• One place for all our resources – no need to duplicate work to a separate VLE.
• Resources available anywhere on any device.
• Move to cloud computing lessens our reliance on onsite servers and technicians, prior to end of current ICT Support Contract.
• Streamlined workflows and better communication between staff teams and with students.
However, it is a massive undertaking and will require thoughtful implementation and plenty of training and development for staff. We have already begun to plan out the project and have a detailed timeline and costings for the first two phases. We have engaged a developer to help us think through this transition and to provide useful tools, support and training.
The project has been broken down into 4 main phases, the first two of which have already been developed in some detail:
Phase 1 – Design and branding, Information Architecture, Portal
An alternative to the current MY-SCHOOL portal interface will be developed, supporting an extended single sign-on model to college applications where such an interaction can be supported.
Phase 2 – MIS integration and homework system
This phase provides for a first level of integration with the Management Information System (MIS) to automatically create staff and student timetables within each user’s Outlook calendar, and the automated creation of class security groups for use with Apps such as Teacher/Student Dashboard to support a full homework and assignment workflow. The MIS-365 integration will be delivered through the installation and configuration of the SalamaderSoft AD integration middleware.
Teacher Dashboard Plus will be installed and configured to all teaching staff to assign, manage and track homework.
Phase 3 – Content migration
Migrate existing teaching resources from local storage into Office365/SharePoint
Phase 4 – Parent Portal
Develop a portal for parents to keep track of their child’s progress on homework tasks, coursework etc.
We are looking to move our admin and support teams over to SharePoint early in the project to pilot workflows, shared documents and to start populating it with key organisational information. Much of the initial training will be aimed at supporting this transition, and hence the key DigiLit strands we are looking to develop within these staff teams are:
• Creating and Sharing
• Communication, Collaboration & Participation
However, with a project with such a scope as this, all six strands will be touched on and we will need to ensure staff are adequately prepared to meet the challenges.
The way files are handled within SharePoint is very different from a more traditional hierarchical structure on a network drive, and Entry level staff in particular may struggle with the changes to working practices around shared documents. We need to ensure that staff fully understand this new paradigm as well as the basic skills of creating and sharing files with others.
Just before Christmas 2015, we launched a call to secondary and special education schools across the city to participate in a new peer led network, designed to focus supporting school staff digital literacy and CPD. The network builds on the DigiLit Leicester project, which successfully established a process for identifying strengths and gaps in digital literacy, and improving skills and confidence school and city-wide.
ICT investment in Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme has provided all city mainstream secondary and special education secondary schools in the city with world-class technology designed to support effective teaching and learning, connect communities and provide opportunities for teachers and learners to collaborate across the city and beyond. Over the last 5 years we have rebuilt and refurbished 19 schools, completing a programme which benefits over 20,000 young people.
Peer-led digital literacy network
Peer network leads will ensure that staff at all levels continue to be supported in improving skills and developing their practice. The new network represents 10 city schools:
Mahala Active-Nemaura and Tony Tompkins will be taking responsibility for co-ordination the network, which will run until July 2017. Members will also be working with Leicester’s Open Schools Network, to ensure all schools take advantage of the city councils work in relation to open educational licensing and support for open practice.
Digital literacy in focus
Each school has selected a strand of the DigiLit Leicester framework to focus on during the lifetime of the project, and will be focusing on raising confidence and competence levels in this area. Schools were free to select their prefered area from the six framework strands –
Assessment and Feedback
Communication, Collaboration and Participation
Creating and Sharing
E-Safety and Online Identity
Finding, Evaluating and Organising
Technology supported Professional Development
Interestingly, all participating schools selected one of three strands: Assessment and Feedback, Communication, Collaboration and Participation, or Technology supported professional Development – giving us three working groups.
Work in partnership with the Open Schools Network, to ensure work completed compliments and supports the development, implementation and identification of good practice in open education.
Commit to developing their own specialist knowledge of the chosen digital literacy strand area, as well as complimentary knowledge relating to open education, open educational resources and open licences.
Support staff at their school in relation to the development of practice supported by the chosen digital literacy strand, ensuring progression amongst all staff but particularly in relation to staff currently working at Entry level.
Ensure that activities undertaken support the school improvement plan and in particular, learner outcomes and quality of teaching.
Be an active member of the DigiLit Leicester Network in Leicester – supporting other members, encouraging primary school participation, sharing approaches and ideas, and promoting your work and the work of the other network members.