Reflection for 2 Star Badge - The Digital Teacher (Leading) Whittaker
19th March 2021

This reflection was contributed as a submission for a 2 Star Badge in The Digital Teacher (Leading)

Give a brief description of your work context and responsibilities, e.g. your teaching background, experience, type of organisation (e.g. FE college, ACL), subject/curriculum you teach/lead, your learners (skills level, any particular inclusion needs, age range of group, size of group)

I am a programme leader in the division of Construction, overseeing a team of tutor and also teaching on a wide range of construction related topics. The teaching is predominantly classroom based construction topics aimed at Fe and HE students wishing to gain employment in professional areas of construction rather than trade areas.

How did you use the learning from this/these module(s) (briefly describe the learning context, with a focus on The Digital Teacher)

The most useful element of the best tools for the job module for me was the first resource that had been prepared in the Google presentation. I had never considered allowing the learners to make the choice of researching digital tools for the teacher and have always chosen the digital platforms and software and how they access it. The activity has been almost like a light bulb moment for me.more

How did you adapt/modify activities and/or resources for your context providing alternative approaches with specific reference to The Digital Teacher practices?

In terms of adapting activities, I have become very much reliant upon G suite and I guess this has kind of blinkered my approach to digital enhancement which in a way could be potentially restricting the learners digital skills development and my own.
Allowing the group to present or post ideas on multiple platforms will enhance these skills. For example, the task would be changed... more

Provide any examples of any new approaches tested out.

Allowing work submission via multiple platforms such as Docs, PDF, Work etc rather than just Google Docs has allowed learners to feel comfortable with the software, and reduce stress and confusion of having to adopt a new style or use a new platform.

What worked well, or did not work so well? How would you approach the activity/use the resource differently next time?

Allowing mixed submission formats actually increased the amount of uploaded work which is definitely a positive, however this also caused minor formatting issues as not all software works together. For example- uploading a word document onto Google docs sometimes changes the layout.

How did the learning from the module(s) impact on the quality of the learning experience?

Opening up the gates and allowing choice of software, app, platform and involving the learner in the choice has and will continue to improve metacognitive skills within the classroom, which will in turn assist and improve their ability to do well in other situations such as exams, interviews and employment.

How have you initiated strategic change/quality improvement in relation to The Digital Teacher, eg at a peer, department, organisational, regional, national level)?

Since the start of Covid 2020, the Construction department and college wide, have moved to G suite for teaching and learning and all sessions have an associated classroom attached. This has improved teaching an learning in a positive way and increased work from students. This change has also improved visibility to teaching staff, learners and management. It allows flexibility to learning and... more

What will be your next step in bringing about further change?

A focus on sharing and collaboration within the division in terms of training and development. Investing more time in CPD linked to digital skills.

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