Half term review October 2012

The main focus has been to encourage greater subject use of ICT for better teaching and learning this year.  This has meant delegating responsibilites to DLs and the subject teachers who are members of the new Cross-Curricular Learning Team.

We considered Wikispaces as the collaborative tool to share ideas because I wanted a public sharing of ideas but also a private space for tracking organisational progress.  I also wanted it to look good to encourage the DLs.  I took inspiration from the Nottingham High School collaborative blog, with the WordPress theme “Arras” for easily seen contributions. A couple of hours research of WordPress plugins produced the plugin Rolescoper which gives tailored permissions and meant that I could give customised access for teachers and students to share access to pages. More details on the separate post here.

Lessons from the half-term:

1. Focus has to be on subjects with DLs supporting busy teachers – but you need a tool to manage the splintered progress.  In our case, the DLs are making notes about the meetings.  You also need regular meetings – provided for us by Learning Teams, and our second meeting involved DLs showing their ideas to the teachers.

2. Dls really do want to make a difference.  The post about Tiki-Toki is an orginal ‘find’ from a Digital Leader and immediately taken up by the History Department

3. KS4 DLs need to have a different structure to KS3.  The biggest difference is options at KS4. This means much greater randomness for which teachers have which students, and can frustrate previous working together.  However, my DLs saw that working with a less-ICT-literate teacher can also be a good thing.  Youngsters also have lots of commitments and we are now down to about 10 KS4 DLs, and several of them are missing meetings to just work in individual subject areas. To maximise their commitment we have tried to pair them in subjects they will still want to do at A-level.