I wanted to put all 3 presentations here to make it easy to get to the Stories and the resources that I am sharing.
I’m fascinated by technology; I’m also fascinated by learning and what I’m particularly interested in talking about today is how schools can best put these two together and make a big difference in students learning strategically.
I’m delighted to be here today. When I took on the Chair job in 2016 I talked to Craig Parker from Microsoft, I was concerned about our efficacy particularly when looking at previous technology initiatives, like NOF. I wanted to focus on the collaboration between all the stakeholders to develop digital intelligence. Collaboration is making such a difference to the transfer-ability of digital success between schools. I will share examples of that later.
We have decided to crowd source our School’s Guide to Developing Digital.
We’ve created a framework for developing digital elements and we’ve got people to tell their stories about what made it successful for them, because we don’t want to create something that reinvents the wheel, because I think we’ve already seen far too many IT wheels and they are all slightly different, but we know that kids need to learn and we need to help schools to understand how to use technology to support every part of that process.
We’re a small fish in this, but we’re working to make sense of all the advice out there and make it easier to transfer success between schools.
I want our work to focus on developing digital intelligence. Digital intelligence, I’ve left the link here for you so you can have a look, because basically it’s knowing when to use technology and when not to.
I think this incorporates developing caring global citizens, but if we all go back to what it is we are trying to achieve I think we stand a chance of then working out how technology can help us to get there.
I’ve put this #WedFEvents presentation up on SlideShare, and I’ve done that because I’m going to whizz through a lot of information that I have no time to really give you in any detail. If you want any more detail just ask you have my details.
So in 2018 we worked with ISBA to create a survey of all the independent schools and asked them what they thought about the value of using IT in education and 2 in 3 schools said, in that survey, that the schools were not getting value for money, schools were not confident that their data was secure and they also said they don’t have proactive alerting practices. We had 1,000 responses, so it was a reasonable picture and we thought that was disappointing, scary, especially as only 3% of their IT budget was spent on teacher training. Imagine going to the dentists and they were using technology that they had no certification for and we’re giving teachers all this technology and 3% of the budget is being spent on training.
These are the slides which you can look at your relative leisure. I just wanted to get to this concept though, that basically we are stuck with a difficult situation in our schools and we’ve got to find out how we can collaborate to transfer or migrate digital success between schools.
We presented our findings of the survey to the ISBA National Conference in May 2018 – we presented our guide and our framework so that we could get feedback to understand whether the guide is any use and to ask schools to share their digital stories.
Our aims for our framework are really similar to everyone else’s. It’s a user manual for helping schools developing digital and it’s supposed to complement everything else that’s out there, it’s supposed to signpost and build on the great work in the past like the ETAG report, and it’s supposed to make sure that we can equip our teachers and our schools. You can see we we’ve got improving teacher workload, encouraging collaboration, lifelong learning and ROI, all that’s been talked about already today.
But I wanted to share this picture with you because I think this picture is an example of transfer-ability and collaboration. This is students at my school involved the BLOODHOUND project. I don’t know if you’ve heard it, it’s a good project that inspires kids, and it was a great day. It’s using technology, developing understanding of STEAM and it’s all about students, teachers and the EdTech industry collaborating. The thing that I like about this picture is that you can see students, we have external partners, the guy in the middle is Robert Epstein who’s Microsoft Marketing Manager, he’s also got a boy at the school, we’ve got old boys there, we’ve got the Network Manager and we’ve ex students who are studying at university who have come back to help. Through the collaboration we were able to transfer the success that had happened in other schools and inspire those students, bringing in real world partners to help the students understand what it would be like to work in the EdTech industry. Do I want to be like that guy when I grow up? I think the transfer-ability comes back to the quality of relationships because you can’t collaborate without relationships.
This is our guide and we tried to break it down. We thought the idea of a 6 pack for bursars was funny, so we came up with 6 elements for this. It’s moved on now to a schools’ guide, but I still think the idea of an IT Six-Pack is amusing.
So we went for vision, training, identity, infrastructure, safety and partnerships, all of these elements are in the DfE strategy, just mapped slightly differently and what we’ll be working on at the moment is trying to make sure that our schools don’t look at this and say well why is yours different, because we’re looking at making sure that we can map ours to the DFE strategy.
Another example of some of the work that we’ve done is, we’ve worked with those organisations there, Intel, Education Foundation and Chartered College, and worked with them to create the #EdTech50 #Schools initiative, I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved with that. We had nearly 200 schools nominated, and those schools were able to share their success. Currently what we are doing is digesting that so that we can share that back with all of you.
We have a website that has 28 blogs at the moment, it sounds a bit sad but the people who have written the blogs are people like Steve Molyneux from the Tablet Academy who some of you will know, discussing how we must rethink training. Neelam Palmer, from Ashford School who has written about her success of using technology and the impact on learning through a development of pedagogy, and Sarah Williamson from Sevenoaks school who has shared all of her digital strategy templates so that you can see what she’s done and use her templates to develop a school strategy to get everyone on board.
Our work is all about how to make it easier for schools.
I’m going to close with one last anecdote. I was involved in the TRE which was as project that BECTA initiated back in the late 90s. We tried to share the resources that schools were using. Take a KS3 Science project and with all the resources for the project including lesson plans and exemplar work, there’d be a story about the project and then when someone used the resources they would be able to comment on that afterwards and say why they used it or how they improved it. It wasn’t a success, we weren’t able to transfer the success of all the work that went into it developing the TRE because it was just another great resource on the Internet that no one knew about. This is what we are trying to change to make sure that we can signpost important resources.
All the links to our work are here. I have 2 questions for you, how can our collaboration make it simpler to transfer digital success between schools and how can you get involved?
Questions and comments from the floor with Caroline Wright, Director General, British Educational Suppliers Association
Lord Lucas: We have a few minutes for questions, who would like to ask the first one. Please keep it short. If you’ve got any. Sir.
Shinaz Navas: Management Consultation within Deloitte’s Education Practice.
We spend a lot of time working with schools and universities helping them identify basically what works and then importantly in implementing those solutions, and I think from this speech and from some of the ones earlier there’s a lot of interesting case studies and platforms to trying to decipher what are the different case studies and what are the solutions that do work. But from a school or university perspective how do you signpost them to the right places and then guide them to implement those solutions, because that Innovate My School has one platform, BESA, likewise is another, Education Endowment Foundation also has some as well. Really how do we guide them in the first instance to self-service and then how can we implement solutions from there?
Katy Potts: Do you want me to start?
Lord Lucas: Do start.
Katy Potts: Actually there’s a really exciting conference today from London Grid for Learning, because they provide broadband to all of the schools in London, it’s part of the National Educational Network, so we are really fortunate in London and Islington to work with them as partners, it’s a charitable organisation, but across the UK you have the Northern Grid and the South West Grid, so you know there are, it is replicated.
So we have the model in Islington where we have lead schools and we have hands on support, so that works really, really well and I didn’t mention that. And then we feed back into central pilots from London Grid for Learning. So we’ve got a VR pilot currently with LGFL and we’ve got two schools in that. We’ve also got Microsoft Cloud, Google strategy pilots that we’re running in conjunction with the London Grid for Learning. So I’ve brought a few of these today but I would say they’re key partners for London.
Michael Forshaw: So I don’t believe the body of evidence is there yet to actually truly say, hey these products are going to solve your outcomes, that’s what all the companies you mentioned are working towards doing. It does require a sector collaboration and I would love all of those organisations to work together, you know, stronger together and all of that. I think in the very short-term I would ensure you are doing your own in-school institutional evaluations more effectively, more robustly, so for edtech impact for instance we partnered with UCL’s EDUCATE team to design and evaluation framework, kind of a hybrid randomised control trial, what we are calling a rapid cycle evaluation which essentially encourages you to do and pre and post assessment of the baseline and ask the right questions around supporting training and importantly around what are the outcomes that we care about for this product improving in our schools. So in the short-term I would say use a robust framework to do your own evaluations while the body of evidence is building. There’s lots of great frameworks and taxonomies out there to help you do that and we’d be delighted to help you.
Caroline Wright: I think it’s really about signposting. We’re a self-selecting group today who will go and find out about what’s out there because we’ve got an interest in it, but I think actually it’s about Government, companies, professional bodies all signposting routes, like Grid for Learning kind of conferences, CPD sessions to actually signpost places where schools can go. And do you know there is a role for all of us in this room, from kind of the start-up companies all the way to the very large companies and working together with different services. It’s like if you choose to go to Aldi or Lidl, they may offer different things in a different way, but you can find what you need there. Some teachers might prefer to use a particular way of finding out about something, others might prefer a face to face conference or a website, it’s about helping them get all the information from a range of places and actually having a supportive attitude to it.
Ian R Phillips: There’s too much information out there at the moment, isn’t there, and there’s that new syndrome, information stress syndrome because there’s too much and you just can’t make sense of it. I do think events like this are critical to that, and it’s the collaborations and the networking that happens. Michael and I were at a conference about a month ago and we spoke about how there was a significant overlap between what we’re doing, I mean he’s on a much larger scale, but we are doing similar things. And so we had a conversation last week about how we are going to signpost each other’s work and how that we can then share work that we’re doing across to his platform.
And I think there’s another piece in there as well, because I think it’s come back to people a lot of the time we’ve been talking. I think sometimes people can’t actually make sense of the problems that they have and I think sometimes they need to talk to someone so they can, even whether it’s talking to learn or talking so that they can get advice, so that people can then make sense of the problems, hence why we kept that 6 pack because it was a way of breaking down the enormous problem, I don’t know what to do, you’ve got to start somewhere, start small, work out which thing you want to focus on first and start.
So I think there’s a number of things in there, but I think the most important thing, it’s about having conversations about that as we have been today.
Michael Forshaw: And can I just say, ask Lauren Thorpe to share her great taxonomy, something like that, there’s lots of great stuff out there to just getting started now.
Lord Lucas: Right, well thank you all very much indeed.
Katy Potts: Thank you very much.