Andrew Mulholland, chief marketing officer at Groupcall, discusses how schools can elevate effective edtech use and teacher workload to the top of the leadership agenda:
After blowing away the Bett Show crowds last month, Minted Box are on a mission to help schools make 2018 their most disruptive year yet. The innovators behind technology used by Tesco, Vodafone, Royal Mail and hundreds of other companies are perhaps most widely known for their seating planner MINTClass, but it’s their new facial-recognition platform that’s likely to steal the spotlight this year.
Although the government would argue differently, those of us on the education front-line know that there has been a sustained and systematic marginalisation of creative arts subjects in Secondary schools. The introduction of the EBacc in 2010 forced school leaders to focus their diminishing budgets on the subjects that the then minister for education deemed worthy. According to the 2015 Warwick Commission report this has, in part, contributed to a 50% drop in GCSE numbers for Design and Technology.
With over 150 schools and 18,000 teachers beginning to use Teacherly over the last 12 months, we wanted to showcase some of the best ways the platform is being used, as well as the impact it has had on departments, teachers and schools as a whole.
Teachers across the UK are using an innovative resource to remove the burden of lesson planning by making collaborative planning and sharing schemes of work easy, wherever they are based. Teacherly frees teachers to focus on delivering engaging lessons that their pupils enjoy. Teachers are allocated responsibility for planning schemes of work (either partial or complete), which the rest of the team can access and easily adapt to their own class. This is particularly useful for teachers across multi-academy trusts or teaching school alliances. Because Lumici Slate is online, planning together can be virtual.
One thing that always interested me about History was the growing realisation that even the supposedly simplest and most straightforward facts are quite often shrouded in a mystifying narrative; a trail of sources that leaves the true story open to a range of opposing interpretations and outcomes. Whilst we may think we have answered all the questions and arrived at the correct conclusions about the sequences of events, a differing theory or discovery of a contradictory source can suddenly debunk the accepted.
Education is a field ripe for change. A confluence of influences has altered both our purposes and methods. New technologies have altered what is possible, shifted our interactions with knowledge and allowed for new models of connectedness. The forces of globalisation, and with that the movement of both manufacturing workforces and increasingly routine cognitive labour away from Western nations, is altering the face of work in these nations. Our children will leave school requiring a different set of skills to those that secured them employment but a short time ago.
I teach Computing. This means that, at least twice per day I get asked this question:
“Are we going on the computers today Sir?”
As an NQT, I was flattered by this, thinking that it displayed an enthusiasm for the subject. However I soon learned that it was, in the wise words of Admiral Ackbar, a trap.
My job as a Year One teacher is many things, but it is certainly never dull! I count dressing up, leaving mysterious messages and generally making a bit of a fool of myself as all in a day’s work! Luckily, my colleague is almost as crazy as me and fully on board for the ride! Faced with a lively and very enthusiastic cohort, we wanted to end the previous school year with a topic which would really engage them. Thus we began our topic ‘Do monsters live amongst us?’ by hooking pupils into Claire Freedman’s book: Monsters Love Underpants.
It’s 5.30am. and the day begins like any other – my dog Oakley, a six year old chocolate Labrador, is ready for her morning walk. She really is the best alarm clock. I’m not quite awake yet, and the thought that there will be a strong cup of my home-delivered coffee, waiting for me when I get back keeps me walking. Without time to rest, I head to The Cedars Primary School where I am not only a teacher but the ICT coordinator, member of SMT and school governor.