Monday, 2 November 2015

Here comes Christmas.....

It has once more been a busy few weeks here at Compton with Chromebooks being in increasing demand as teachers across the school engage with the technology.

Our first major success since last month has been the role out of our Google Experts Scheme. The children have all started working towards their Bronze Google Expert award, which entails them demonstrating they can logon independently, help someone else to login, access the Google classroom from home and submit an assignment through the classroom. The vast majority of children in the classes involved have already achieved this level and are now working towards their Silver award. Some have even started on their Gold awards. Impressive considering we only launched this 2 weeks ago!

Storybird continues to be a big success across Key Stage 2, with the children in year 5/6 producing some powerful poetry, while year 3/4 are writing stories in familiar settings. To develop their skills further, year 5/6 have used Storybird alongside ScreenCastify to produce performances of their final poems.
Here is an example of their final piece.

Since returning from Brussels we have had a meeting with our colleague in KS1 who will have responsibility for developing the use of Google and Chromebooks among our youngest pupils. We have shared best practice with her and explored even more apps and extensions that we can use. We have shared our ideas about Google Experts and Class Dojo, which are being filtered out to other classes, and a preparation scheme under the scheme 'Google Apprentices' for our youngest pupils will be rolled out in the near future.

On returning from Brussels we came back with a real drive to share what we were doing with our parents. We wanted them to know and understand not only what we are doing in our classrooms with the technology, but more importantly, why we are doing it and how they can support their child's learning at home. As a result, we have invited our parents into school to use the Chromebooks, to look at some of the apps we have been using and to see the impact it is having on their learning across the curriculum. We are extremely pleased to see the uptake of this goes far beyond that of any other similar evening put on by the school and shows how keen the parents are to understand the work we are doing. All the places have been filled and we expect to run a similar session in the Spring term due to the high level of demand.

Having now entered the second half of the autumn term we are now looking at how we can develop the project further. We have started developing a bank of apps we have used with recommendations for other teachers - we hope to build on this further so that all teachers use it to support their teaching and contribute their own ideas. We also hope to continue to build on using the SAMR model to redefine our teaching, linking back to our maturity levels and our focus on improving collaboration between our pupils. We feel we have made very significant progress towards this and will strive to continue to do so.

Through this project we hope that by the end of the year we will have pupils, teachers and parents who are confident and competent in their use of technology and can recognise the potential of ICT in transforming education.

Our vision has always been clear:

The technology does not replace hands on, quality first teaching, but enhances and redefines it, to the benefit of our pupils learning. Technology should make life easier.... not harder.

The Compton Blogger.

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