CPD at Bett 2016

Written by: Various | Published:
Photo: Jack Terry Photography/Bett

The world’s biggest educational technology show – Bett – takes place later this month in London. It offers a wealth of CPD seminars and presentations. We preview three of the sessions on offer

What’s all the fuss about ‘flipping learning’?

What takes a teacher from being cynical of flipped learning to being a believer? Kirsty Tonks is assistant principal of Shireland Collegiate Academy in the West Midlands and heads up MathsFlip, a project run across the region with 24 primary schools. In her Bett Show session, she will share her experiences at key stage 2 of trying to navigate her way through the implementation of BYOD and creating a flipped classroom.

“It was in 2011 that I first heard the term ‘flipped learning’ and rolled my eyes at what I thought was a ridiculous title. Little did I realise that four years on this ‘ridiculous’ term would have formed much of the focus of my work as assistant principal for e-learning at Shireland Collegiate Academy. Furthermore, in four years it has had a huge impact on levels of student progress and the shaping of the learning journeys that teachers share online with students, and has led to the largest independent research into flipped learning in the UK, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation in 24 primary schools in years 5 and 6 in maths.

"There are key things that you need to do to adopt a flipped learning approach, but the focus is not (and should not be) the technology used. It is more about the methodology and the re-arrangement and delivery of the teaching sequence.

"It is true that the idea of flipping learning and delivering content before the lesson is one that can be delivered off-line, but using technology enables teachers to see the responses before the lesson and therefore adapt and more accurately target and support students. In essence we are talking about assessment for learning before students even get to the classroom, and ensuring flexible differentiation. You couldn’t do this without the use of technology and access at home.

"As we start a new year and await the release of the final report from the research, I reflect on the language that has seeped into Shireland over the last four years and the schools that we have worked with during the MathsFlip Project. Mini-flip, major-flip, flipped CPD, flip-trips – I actually don’t care about how silly it may sound, the fact is that it is working really well in a range of different settings, and fitting into a range of different contexts. I have made my peace with the term 'flipped learning' – it does do what it says. So bring on the 'Whole School Flip' (well, why not if it works?).”

  • The session What’s all the fuss about ‘flipping learning’? takes place in the Learn Live Primary Theatre at Bett on Friday, January 22, at 10:30am.

Integrating technology in the classroom

Dr Neelam Parmar, director of e-learning at Ashford School in Kent, shares her thoughts and experiences of the effectiveness of learning in an “edtech” environment.

“About three years ago, there was much hype about what type of technological device to buy. Educational technology was a risky game then and required much investment in a short period of time. The big question for schools was: “Which would be the better investment for long-term strategy, taking into consideration the growth of educational apps?”

"As it turns out, it makes no difference which one is the bigger or better player in the marketplace. Within education, all three players – Apple, Android and Windows – have more than 100,000 educational apps in their stores. They have emerged in classrooms where teachers use them to enhance and enrich their lessons in subject specialist areas, such as in times tables, phonics or spelling practices.

"However, many schools still find themselves in a situation where app technology is used as an add-on and is not integrated seamlessly into the lessons. Although there is evidence to show that educational apps are productive in encouraging engagement and motivation, the key is still the teacher and pedagogic interactions that take place between the two.

"In order to create great teaching where the use of technology can amplify learning and development, a pedagogic workflow, incorporating all traditional elements of teaching practices and the current educational apps, becomes necessary.

"This so-called pedagogic workflow involves the use of a blended learning approach where the technology becomes transparent, incorporating teaching strategies where the student and teacher can flip between working on paper, capturing data digitally and producing an end result in the cloud.

"It includes the seamless and effective option of feedback and assessment, which can take place in real time or within a few days of submission of homework. It is the curation of all materials in one location, highlighting areas of metacognition and differentiation, sewing together various teaching resources of videos, images, worksheets, quizzes and content to external applications such as YouTube, e-books, and subject-specific apps, which are both transferable and available to pupils anywhere, at any time and in any place. To be clear, it is the facilitation and instruction of learning processes rather than the more directive methods of teaching. This shift of mindset in understanding “teaching” vs “instruction” is the beginnings of creating an appropriate edtech pedagogical workflow. When teachers come to understand that through technology, they are offering instructional processes, a digital workflow can be better understood and created.

"Whether this is conducted via an iTunes U course in collating posts and assignments together, or the Office 365 environment using the various Microsoft products to submit and/or exchange discussions of homework, or even the Google Classroom where students access shared documents and teachers provide feedback via the Google apps, it makes no difference. The key message is that it should enable both the teacher and students to access learning and collaboration at a developmental pace, sharing direct instruction and collaborative learning between themselves and peers.

"We have long passed the debate of what type of technology to purchase. We have also passed the time to match apps to curriculum needs. There are plenty of websites that promote this use. We have, however, arrived at a time where creating a pedagogical workflow in classrooms (and eventually in school culture) is necessary in order to utilise edtech at its best.

"Although technology has the potential to amplify great teaching and is there to help teachers to do their job more efficiently and effectively, it is important to remember that it is not there to replace them. Teachers are still the catalyst who facilitate the instructional processes in an educational technology environment.”

  • The session “Integrating technology in the classroom: educational apps vs pedagogic workflow” takes place in the Learn Live Primary Theatre at Bett on Wednesday, January 20, at 3pm.

Miss, miss, miss, hit – BYOD and flipped learning

Robin van der Eyken, head of year 6 at St Christopher’s School in Bahrain will share his experiences as a non-ICT specialist trying to navigate through the implementation of BYOD and creating a flipped classroom.

“My journey has been one of trial and error (a lot of errors) but it has also contained some fantastic teaching moments. Three years ago, a professional development flyer about flipped teaching arrived in my in-box. I decided to look into it further. Thus began a fascinating journey which has taken me into flipped teaching, BYOD and 1:1 iPads – a journey that has only just started, but one that is already fascinating, frustrating and exciting.

"I would be lying if I said all of the new edtech apps, websites and jargon came easily to me. Indeed it has been a very steep learning curve and one which has been full of many failures on the way. However, it has also had moments that have made me excited all over again about what we do and why we teach. When I started researching the flipped classroom, most of the information was aimed at US-based college education, but now we are seeing it everywhere. I have used this strategy in my classroom and I have adapted it to suit my school’s context and my primary setting.

"Alongside this, my school has trialled a BYOD scheme and has now launched a 1:1 iPad policy from years 2 to 6. Implementing this has not been easy and the obstacles we have faced have been considerable, but we are convinced that we cannot afford to ignore new technology if we are to offer the best learning experiences to our students.

"My talk is very much from a non-ICT specialist point of view. I am an ‘ordinary’ teacher whose day is full of the normal things we do: marking, planning, putting on plays, playground duty, parent-teacher interviews, putting up displays, cricket club, and so on.

"For me, edtech has to be simple, easy to use and high-impact. I will talk about some of the apps and sites that work for me. The main debate, of course, is not about what technology to use, but how it enhances learning, and this is a theme I intend to expand upon at Bett 2016.”

  • The session “Miss, miss, miss, hit: my BYOD and flipped learning journey” takes place in the Learn Live Primary Theatre at Bett on Thursday, January 21, at 1:30pm.

The Bett Show 2016

The Bett Show takes place from January 20 to 23. For details of all the seminars, including the programme for the Learn Live Primary Theatre, and listings for all the exhibitors, visit www.bettshow.com


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