• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Objective Three - New Behaviours

Page history last edited by olliebray@... 12 years, 7 months ago

This page has been locked and the contents passed to the Scottish Government for analysis. Thank you for all your contributions.


Objective 3: Promote new behaviours for teaching


UpdateThe Cabinet Secretary has expanded on this objective and set the context in a post on Engage for Education.


Benefits: a measurable improvement in the application of technology in learning; increased innovation by teachers and learners in classroom practice; increased achievement by learners; increased sharing and collaboration amongst teachers to develop themselves as learners.


What do we need to do:


  • Revisit models of classroom interaction and share good practice. Technology has changed how we learn – how we find information, how we share, how we interact – our classrooms need to more fully reflect this.
  • Support all Education staff in identifying the benefits of using technology to improve pupil learning.
  • Promote good models of effective learning and teaching
  • Support teachers in seeing themselves as confident, life-long learners.
  • Adopt a pro-technology stance for our daily activities, allow use of technology and access to the web for all learners as a routine part of the teaching process. Computer access in formal examinations and tests; move the emphasis from knowledge to skills by making the knowledge freely accessible for all. 


How will we do this:


  1. Have a basic standard for ICT competence in classroom - re-enforced by GTC , Teacher Training Institutions, HMIE ( Education Scotland) , SQA ( perhaps through appointee network and where necessary qualifications )
  2. Support development of subject networks and encourage subject specialists to belong to these as part of their continued professional development. Support independent services for subject specialists where they exist don't reinvent wheels.
  3. Agree nationally to change the nature of devices allowed in examinations through consultation with SQA, Scottish Government and other partners. 
  4. Provide central consultancy support (perhaps via Education Scotland?) to help schools and local authorities who wish to open up access to student and staff owned devices, deploy "1 to 1" computing initiatives or engage in other innovative learning space or school design projects. This will help avoid "reinventing the wheel".
  5. Teachers should be encouraged to take risks. Some of the savings generated from not continuing with the procurement of Glow Futures should be developed into a system of providing teachers with small amounts of money (grants) to try new things, observe lessons, visits other school and undertake training. This investment should be where it matters - at classroom level. This is key to enabling new practices which require additional ICT equipment, such as microphones or webcams.
  6. Develop resources to support schools in teaching on-line learning skills. These skills are an important part of a broad general education particularly as some learning in the senior phase is likely only to be accessible to some schools via on-line arrangements.
  7. Government or Education Scotland should investigate alternative models of centralised on-line schooling to assist individual local authorities deal with aspects of inclusion (for example travelling families, children in hospital, excluded children, children in care, children with phobia, etc.). Stephen Heppell’s  NotSchool.net model is also worth investigation.
  8. Scottish Government or Education Scotland along with local authority, industry and higher education partners should start to develop and capture examples of emerging pedagogical practice for learning, teaching and assessment. This should include 1:1, flipped classroom and mobile technologies in learning. Scotland may benefit from a centre of emerging practice. 
  9. Teachers, and pupils, should be able to access small amounts of funding (£100, £200, £500 or £1000) to trial new tools or resources and communicate the outcome. This could be done in conjunction with industry partners. Some of the money saved by cancelling the Glow Future procurement could be invested here where it will really have an impact in the hands of classroom teachers.








Scotland on Sunday - Students to use laptops in exams

Danish pupils use web in exams 


Comments (Show all 49)

Caroline Breyley said

at 11:23 pm on Oct 6, 2011

Part 2
All the pupils, except P1 who has it scribed, have added their reflections on their learning and their learning targets in their own Glow blog and have added photos, word docs and pdfs as evidence of learning. Older pupils can add links to videos uploaded to vimeo. Slideshows are trickier as the ones which Glow allow are blocked by our LA. They’ve chosen things to add to their Glow wiki e-portfolios but not all things they can use in Glow blogs seem to be able to be used in Glow wikis and vice versa. Our parents have parental access to Glow and can see and comment on their own children’s learning diaries and e-portfolios.

Pupils blog regularly in a class glow blog and receive visitors and comments from all over the world and we know that parents/family are our most appreciative audience. We have recently started quadblogging with schools in New Zealand, Australia and England. We had to ask for the other blogs to be unblocked before we could start and then we had to ask for the commenting option to be unblocked too; we appreciate that we can ask to have sites unblocked and its done quickly but it takes such a lot of emails and so much advance preparation which has to be done at school. We have been asking for some time to use Skype so we can communicate with schools outwith Scotland as our attempts with Glow guest usernames have not been successful. We have successful links including using Glow wikis and Glowmeets with other schools in Scotland.

Caroline Breyley said

at 11:24 pm on Oct 6, 2011

Part 3
We are fortunate to have the loan of an ipad, unfortunately we cannot put this onto our school network and have to use it with our guest wifi. P7 are making a movie in dialect to share with others at a Crofting Connections event in Skye; the ipad and imovie make this so easy for pupils to do that they can concentrate on the content and not the tech although they have do that too when needed as they have to email content to the ipad as its not on the network and we have to ask friends of the school to help us share the content. We tried to use Google streetview to look at the places we were going to be visiting in Skye but didn’t have enough bandwidth.
We have a Wii and have used games based learning as a successful tool to enable collaborative work with all the island’s P7s prior to them moving into S1. P7 have used Glow to share work between face to face meetings but, unfortunately, despite our IT technician’s best efforts our school networks don’t allow us to have internet access for our Wiis so they cannot use the games together from their own schools.
I think that the pupils in my school and in schools like mine should be able to expect that they will be able continue to build partnerships across Scotland and around the world. They should be able to build on and develop the skills they have acquired as they move through their education. They should be able to access resources, including teachers, virtually so they can study the subjects they wish to learn about without having to leave their community if they don’t wish to do so. They should have the infrastructure in their community which will allow them to be socially and economically successful citizens.

Ian Birrell said

at 12:13 am on Oct 7, 2011

SSERC have made use of Glow to set up the Cookalong Glow Group to support primary teachers in science CPD via Glow Meets. Since Adobe Connect superceded Marratech we have developed effective CPD for teachers with the use of embedded Flash videos, PowerPoint & live experiments from versatile Veho microscope webcams. Free equipment boxes were distributed to some schools and all subscribing schools have access to the recorded Glow Meets as well as all the teaching resources on the Cookalong Glow Group. Early drafts of an independent evaluation said :-

"... it was also valued by participants who thought it was a useful additional method of delivering science CPD. Indeed, this mode of CPD was particularly valued by those participants who were in more remote areas where this mode of CPD could address the prohibitive cost and time issues associated with attending ‘traditional’ central venue CPD. Participants recognised that this approach would be less suitable for CPD where group interaction and in-depth discussion was important, but it was applicable for focused professional learning development such as developing pedagogical skills and providing ideas for practical experiments geared to the curriculum and that would engage with pupils.

The SSERC approach to the GLOW meet, with its real time interaction and equipment supplied by SSERC, was seen as an advance on the routine GLOW approach. The pilot identified potential barriers to on-line modes of CPD, namely local authorities’ filtering software and the variation in schools’ existing computer technology (such as low resolution monitors, poor sound equipment, slower computers and limited bandwidth). Such barriers will have to be taken into account when planning wider use of this CPD approach. However, the technical difficulties encountered during the pilot were quickly overcome by the SSERC team."

I would be interested to know if the plan is to carry on with the Adobe Connect software on Glow.

Colm Linnane said

at 12:19 pm on Oct 7, 2011

I think one of the key challenges to promotion of new behaviours lies in necessity to get a critical mass of professionals moving towards using new/emerging technologies in the classroom. As demonstrated in the discussion surrounding Objective 2 there are clear disparities between teachers who feel comfortable in how they integrate ICT into their practice and those who feel they need more guidance/training. The discussion surrounding "play" is instructive here- perhaps there's a need to support professionals in re-learning how to play, to create a scaffold or framework which will encourage experimentation with ICT in and out of the classroom.

Promotion of new behaviours surrounding ICT for learners will only really be successful if we address some people's anxieties about what is expected of them. There's a lot of talk about how to prevent collegiate discussion about ICT operating in an echo-chamber. The challenge here is to demonstrate the benefits to learners. This is the area where the most work is needed- there need to be platforms that demonstrate the concrete benefits to learners. There also needs to be guidance as to what it takes to get there. Articulating the benefits and expecting people to find their way there is not enough. With Glow, the tools are there, the support is there, I just wonder whether there's enough capacity on the ground to guide people to a point where they can make the tools/support work for them?

Claire Griffiths said

at 6:04 pm on Oct 9, 2011

The level of support to go into schools in often very limited. If our ICT officer went to each school for one day it would mean that they would be there once every 2 1/2 to 3 months. i.e. once a term for a day that's less than 45 mins a teacher in most primaries of 7 classes. People will need lots of training and then guidance in how to apply their learning to the classroom so we need to put money into providing their on the ground support. The colleges also need to play their part to train the new teachers in IWB use and multimedia tools etc...Then when they come into schools and they show the existing teachers.

Neil Winton said

at 7:15 pm on Oct 9, 2011

If the level of support available to schools is going to be limited (and given the current financial position, I see no reason why it won't consider to be so for the near future), then I think it is even more important that we move from a dependence on 'tools' that require training, to tools that everyone can already use! Why spend a fortune on a bespoke system that requires lots of training, when there are alternatives that millions of people have managed to work out for themselves... or by asking their friends how to work it.

I am of course referring to the likes of Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter… When the tools themselves are easy enough and straightforward enough to use 'out-of-the-box', then why do we even need ICT support on the existing levels? I suspect we don't!

In addition, and despite my earlier challenge, I am still waiting some independent empirical evidence to illustrate that IWBs are actually worth what they cost. The only largish survey of the impact of IWBs that I am aware of was carried out by Dr. Gemma Moss, Dr. Carey Jewitt, Professor Ros Levaãiç, et al of the University of London, and as they found, despite a massive increase in spending on IWBs in London, "...there is no evidence of any impact on the increase in IWB usage ... in the academic year 2004/5 on attainment in the three core subjects. [maths, science, english]"

Let me say this again: despite a massive increase in spending on IWBs, there was no increase in attainment.

This should not be a surprise to anyone really as the IWB simply maintains the 19th Century 'sage-on-a-stage' model of teaching but with a marginally more plugged in board...

So, to sum up:
a) Use tools that are easy enough to allow anyone to be able to use them (as in Facebook or Wordpress or Twitter or Google Docs easy), and
b) Don't believe the salespeople. Let teachers choose the technology they want to use... not what an ICT manager who has never been in a classroom thinks they should use!

Con Morris said

at 5:04 pm on Oct 10, 2011

Hi Neil

I agree about letting teachers / learners choose the tool but within some sort of open standards that allows the learning to be captured even if the tool goes belly-up! ;)

Neil Winton said

at 7:17 pm on Oct 9, 2011

Oops: Here's the Link to the paper I referenced about IWB lack of impact: http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/RR816%20Report.pdf

Kate Farrell said

at 7:32 pm on Oct 9, 2011

From 2006-08 I worked with two American organisations, Global Kids and Kidz Connect, teaching and supporting young people and teachers in New York, Washington DC and Florida to use the virtual world Second Life. I have helped teach a Science class daily in Second Life where I was in Edinburgh and the school was in Brooklyn. The pupils created their own virtual environmentally friendly house with sustainable materials, wandered round a recreation of Naples, Italy interviewing avatars about the landfill problem and doing landfill surveys, and seeing simulations of icebergs melting. The pupils used a huge range of ICT tools - skype, email, comic life, web research, blogging, etc.
It saddens me that five years on from when I started working with pupils in America using Second Life I still can't contemplate being able to use it in my own secondary school in Scotland. Bandwidth and hardware issues are just too overwhelming.

Andrea Reid said

at 9:27 pm on Oct 9, 2011

Really interested in some of the how to examples above. One of the key areas which is becoming increasingly difficult as budgets are squeezed is to find a way/means of engaging teachers in trying new things without being neccessarily being able to provide the resources for them to do so. The suggestion about small scale grants is intriguing in this respect. One of the most successful authority initiatives we have undertaken in recent years have been micro grants to groups of schools called ASGs (associated schools grants) these were bid for with specific criteria and allowed professional networks the time space and resources to take risks and move improvement forward. This model is now being taken forward to develop moderation activity. It is teacher and need led. Moving towards a micro grant scheme like this would provide a means for teachers to engage our young people with innovative teaching supported by technologies alongside small scale, shared research projects.

Richard Nealsson said

at 10:03 pm on Oct 9, 2011


I disagree. CfE requires teachers to be more knowledgeable and have deeper understanding in order to be responsive to learners' needs and to enliven learning through the passion they have for the subjects they are teaching. This isn't silo thinking, it's ensuring that education isn't reduced to the level of superficial sound bite.

Richard Nealsson said

at 10:12 pm on Oct 9, 2011

I'd like to see some funding made available for a national online academy. Perhaps we should follow the lead of the OU and adopt moodle to provide the platform and pay teachers to develop the courses. The new nat 4/5 and highers would lend themselves very we to this, providing national baseline courses and resources, an optional assessment vehicle, and a foundation upon which teachers can build their own variations to support the specific needs of their own pupils. There's a log to be offered the excluded here, too.

Richard Nealsson said

at 10:14 pm on Oct 9, 2011

*very well

Richard Nealsson said

at 10:17 pm on Oct 9, 2011

Lol. Fat fingers on an iPhone. We don't want to offer the excluded logs, do we? That should be "lot". The excluded here is meant to mean ling term sick, separated from home environments, and travelling communities, for example.

Richard Nealsson said

at 10:24 pm on Oct 9, 2011

There's also an expectation that suddenly everyone is to become expert in putting all singing and dancing websites together. Some of us can, of course, but we are a diverse bunch, with diverse skills. Should money be available for teachers to bid for, to develop and operate independent facilities? Should awards be made to those who have done so off their own bat, such as Danny Mallon's helpmyphysics.com or Sinclair McKenzie's Fizzics sites?

dave terron said

at 10:42 pm on Oct 9, 2011

I maintain and run and PAY for the school website, the English resources website and my own class websites and blogs because it's easier and quicker and much more effective. We've moved the school domain now so the school will pay for their own hosting in future but still get free technical assistance from the IT Tech and myself 8-) As said above the likes of Sincalir Mackenzies' Fizzsics site etc should be assisted at the very least with help towards the hosting fees.

dave terron said

at 10:47 pm on Oct 9, 2011

I also have to agree with Neil Winton and many other teachers throughout the world who feel that the IWB is a waste of money and has not improved attainment for any of my kids. The older models only allow 1 student to interact anyway and unless you fork out thousands more for Clicker software etc you can't do impromptu surveys etc. My old HT decided DESPITE advice form all the IT guurs in school to spend almost the entire budget on IWB for every classroom in our new school opening in February. Time and again I and others told her we'd rather have 6 small notebooks linked to the wifi or other IT software/hardware including visualisers instead. All of which would engage/enable more kids than the one sitting at the IWB with the pen...although I appreciate that the newer IWB can (gasp!) be used a 2 or 3 students leaving a mere 21-27 students twiddling thumbs or wanting a go! (GASP!)

dave terron said

at 10:57 pm on Oct 9, 2011

And finally tonight (having just got back in from Inverness)...I wholeheartedly agree with the idea at 9 above that small sums of financial assistance should be available for teachers to apply for so they can test, advise and recommend the future applications, websites etc that we should be using. Web 2.0 is dying, Web 3 the Semantic Web is coming soon and we need to get the research done ON THE GROUND by teachers and students. The money saved on procurement should really be pushed towards the teachers not kept back for pet projects or Empire building by LAs. It would also ensure that we do not get yet more software packages (in one case written by the husband of a serving HT!) paid for and pushed by LAs having never asked staff what they actually need or want. Small grants to enable staff to buy off the shelf or additional packages for such thing as database software etc and allow for rigorous testing would be great and well worth while. There is, for example a database being trialled in Dumfries and Galloway which shows the assessment of CfE and allows the kids to add their own self assessment using traffic lights. It looks great and I'm hoping to get a copy and trial it for my own classes before asking LA to invest in it too. THIS, in view of the current lack of anything so far created by Education Scotland/GLOW is precisely the sort of project that would need help if the LA were unwilling to invest.

Neil Winton said

at 10:59 pm on Oct 9, 2011

I have added numbers to the 'How will we do this' discussion points above. My next few points will use these umbers so you may need to refer back to them to follow what I am saying!

Neil Winton said

at 10:59 pm on Oct 9, 2011

1. I completely agree that there should be a basic standard for ICT competence — with the proviso that, by codifying this, we are in danger of repeating the mistakes of the past. We have reached the current impasse simply because there are LA 'standards' for tool provision and access, and these are part of the problem. As soon as you wish to try something new, or that is not covered by a set of standards that will be out-of-date as soon as the next FaceBook or Twitter or BlackBoard or School Intranet is invented, you are likely to create new friction points based on these 'standards'. The simple fact is that the whole landscape is changing with regards ICT and especially education. 'Standards' is perhaps the wrong word. 'Skills' would be better as this should have more 'future-proofing' built in. Let me illustrate:

Standard: Teachers should be able to use Powerpoint competently and justify that use on pedagogical grounds. [Problem: Many teachers believe wrongly that they can already use PowerPoint and will not accept that they might anything more to learn, thus effectively making the standard a dead-end with built in obsolescence and no incentive to improve or share]

Skill: Teachers should be able to use a presentation software tool of their choice and justify that use on pedagogical grounds. In addition, they should be able to share their presentations online using a suitable and appropriate online service.
[Intention: That teachers are allowed to use new services such as Slideshare and Prezi to create engaging and effective support materials, and that the ability to experiment with new tools is built in. In addition, it is essential that we move towards a culture of openness and sharing.]

This is one possible way that I see the imposition of standards playing out. I am using Ppt as an example most are familiar with, but it is the underlying notion that we should allow a 'standard' to be flexible and open-ended that I believe to be the most important thing.

JohnM said

at 11:23 pm on Oct 9, 2011

Absolutely, Neil. I’ve argued for years that students should be learning generic ICT skills – using a word processor or a graphics package. The platform doesn’t matter. A word processor is a word processor is a word processor…..

Neil Winton said

at 10:59 pm on Oct 9, 2011

In a sense, this is an encouragement to acknowledge the value of the Social Media Networks that many teachers have already accepted and have seen as an invaluable part of their personal CPD. It matters not whether this means being a member of the TESS forums, or an active Facebook or Twitter teacher, it is the recognition that we are learning and developing outwith the usual channels, and that this needs to be encouraged.

It goes without saying that there will be many who are uncomfortable with the notion of using ICT in this way, however, the financial realities mean that it is much more cost effective to have an online equivalent of the old Subject Advisors in these straightened times. For example, a National English Base (to use the bricks and mortar equivalent as an analogy) would allow easy dissemination of professional materials, SQA updates, Govt initiatives, and so forth. It could also be a fantastic means of sharing lessons and blethering with colleagues across the country... in short, everything we hoped Glow would become.

If I give a simplistic interpretation, Glow failed not because the information wasn't there, but because the information wasn't easy to find. If you know Twitter, you will know how easy it is to follow a theme or conference or conversation through the use of hashtags... imagine an online Subject Base that allowed us to use hashtags to follow relevant conversations and/or initiatives. Simpler and clearer, with the added benefit of being a familiar model to many, and easily explained for the rest.

Neil Winton said

at 11:00 pm on Oct 9, 2011

Arguably, this is a no-brainer. About the only time I use a pen nowadays is to mark. When I am writing new materials, preparing for meetings or any of the other countless jobs I have to do, I use technology: a school PC, or more likely my own iPad or even my mobile phone. It seems indefensible and more than a little perverse to continue insisting that learners be denied the very tools they will be required to use after they leave school. ICT is no longer an extra, it just is.

Sinclair Mackenzie said

at 11:23 am on Oct 10, 2011

I agree with Neil but can I highlight some of the issues faced in other curricular areas.

With current tools, it's much more difficult to get away from the pen/pencil/marker/IWB pen when mathematical notation is required. It is hard to believe that each of my requests for access to an application/plugin/tool within Glow has brought the response that LaTEX is the answer. It's not the answer - have you even seen LaTEX? We need to develop a means of expressing maths online that can be used by learners and teachers of any age/ability

I'm not even talking calculus here, although it makes just as valid an example.
Let's consider S3/4 - Standard Grade Physics requires pupils to add fractions. How do they show working for that on a screen?
What about powers/indices - volume of a sphere anyone?

We won't have inclusive ICT in education until someone addresses issues like these.

jonesieboy@... said

at 6:34 pm on Oct 10, 2011

Sinclair is right. Glow needs a simple maths equation editor - something with the functionality of dragmath, for example.

Neil Winton said

at 11:00 pm on Oct 9, 2011

I am a little concerned at the get-out word: "wish". This one word would probably be enough to prevent most LAs from changing on the basis that they would not 'wish' to change, so they won't.

I'm tempted to ask 'Why are we making this even more awkward than it needs to be?' If I want to use my local library's free wifi, I key in my reader number and a 4 digit PIN. I have no doubts that anything I then access is being logged and recorded, and for a public/council service, I would not expect anything less. How difficult is it to roll this simple model out for schools?

In addition, given that most school filtering software sits between the wifi connection points and the internet itself, we would already have the means of ensuring that users (ie learners/pupils/young people) were protected from inappropriate content.

As a final point, if this is likely to lead to bandwidth issues, then quite simply, we need more bandwidth.

Neil Winton said

at 11:00 pm on Oct 9, 2011

Risk taking is an anathema to many... and understandably given the accountability that is heaped on us. One possible means of encouraging 'risk taking' could be to have a peer-review committee, much like an ethics committee for some of the medical disciplines, and they could approve , guide and mentor new practices. The downside of this would be that nothing would happen because by the time anything 'risky' was approved the teacher would probably have lost interest or retired! The plus side would be a means of reviewing and evaluating new practices, and if done properly, of then sharing these with the education community as a whole.

Neil Winton said

at 11:01 pm on Oct 9, 2011

The short answer:
This could be done in two simple stages:
i) give every school a Moodle deployment,
ii) provide every teacher with a copy of Moodle for Dummies.
Job done.

The long answer:
It is not easy to deploy on-line learning well. For a school, the answer is in deploying Blended Learning solutions where the on-line aspect enhances the classroom practice. This is not the same as Distance Learning which would need to be used in the scenario mentioned in the point about the senior phase only being able to access some courses using on-line arrangements.

This is one area where I do think that money should be spent centrally to develop National Courses using the very best teacher's resources and input from the SQA and EducationScotland as well as teachers with the relevant skills and know-how. This is an important area for a whole host of reasons, but one that will require very careful management lest it become son-of-Glow.

Neil Winton said

at 11:01 pm on Oct 9, 2011

See my slightly longer comment to point 6!

Neil Winton said

at 11:02 pm on Oct 9, 2011

I love the notion of a Centre of Emerging Practice, especially if it shares actively all that it uncovers. I am thinking along the lines of FutureLab. While LTS did sterling work in this respect, I actually think we have the opportunity to devise a new body to encourage and develop and share the very best practice from where-ever it may be found, be that Scotland, England, the world. More importantly, we would need the capability to support other teachers who wished to try identified strategies. It is one thing to read a case study, it is quite another to then try to implement that in the classroom.

Neil Winton said

at 11:02 pm on Oct 9, 2011

I love this idea. The notion that teachers could apply for funds to trial something that would then be fed back is as clever as it is simple. As with my comments above, there would need to be some means of centralising both the distribution of these funds, but also, and more importantly, collating and evaluating the results of these studies with a view to sharing them and then supporting those who wished to further investigate new practices.

The key to this would lie in evaluating the effectiveness of any trials. I am being drawn more and more to the notion of some form of professional review body for pedagogy. One that oversees these trials and offers advice and guidance for the participants as well as being a peer review body for the results.

This particular idea has immense potential... maybe not in isolation, but as part of a coherent whole, it could be a real game-changer.

dave terron said

at 11:10 pm on Oct 9, 2011

I agree with points 1-9 made by Neil above! 8-)

dave terron said

at 11:44 pm on Oct 9, 2011

Insofar as New Behaviours go in many schools we need to get rid of the title/personage of PT Computing and replace them (or give the incumbent extra training/expertise and whole school IT responsibilities) with PT ICT/Pedology or suchlike. Too many Computing teachers merely teach what is required by Higher/SG/Int2 etc and do nothing else. I see no extra classes for word-processing, spreadsheets or ECDL for example in many schools. I see no computer club or even an after-school computing training session for kids AND parents for example. How do we expect parents to use GLOW if they can't use a PC in the first place?!!Other schools have gone the PT ICT route only for the PT to waste months trying to achieve things and being blocked at every turn vested interests higher up the food chain. A NATIONAL policy and the requirement for all staff and students to attain and maintain a set of minimum IT and other skills to cope with modern day life and the social media/sharing frenzy that goes with it is a first step. A Culture of parents being able to pop into the school after school to learn with their children or even to help teach their kids in a formal setting would be great; why does this not happen in more schools. There are some GREAT computing teachers out there as well as staff with the experience who could also help. (I've 30 years use of IT since 1982 in the Army before coming to teaching as do at least four local teachers, none of whom teach technical subjects/computing) Use the expertise within schools rather than try to get an expensive consultant /trainer in!

Kate Farrell said

at 3:14 am on Oct 10, 2011

I have to disagree. Computing teachers are teaching computer science, how the machine works and how to programme it to do what you want to do rather than training kids in Microsoft packages. Its like the the difference between teaching someone car mechanics and teaching them how to drive. Totally different. I think the ICT skills are important but there are also Computer Science Es & Os that need addressed in every school. The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Computer Society have an exemplification project this year and are developing materials to help support teachers in teaching these Computer Science outcomes.

Kate Farrell said

at 3:21 am on Oct 10, 2011

As Chair of the Computing at School Scotland, the Computing Teachers association, I am extremely concerned about the number of schools that no longer have a Computer Science department or teachers. There is an assumption, like Dave, that kids can use computers so we don't need to teach them that now. Kids can Facebook, they can IM, etc but they don't have the ICT skills they need to get on in the workplace - blogging, wikis, video and website creation etc. This has been said by others on this wiki. However, the Computer Science skills are equally as important as the ICT skills - programming a computer, creating a computer game, making an animated multimedia presentation (using something that requires depth and challenge, not Microsoft Powerpoint!)

I would like to see young people leaving school being able to create websites (including knowing how to get a domain name and host and upload their site to a server), how to create their own mobile app (and be able to upload it to an app store), how to search for information effectively (and trust the source), how to create multimedia content (and be able to get Creative Commons or copyright free content), how to programme a computer to do what they need it to do not what someone else thinks they might need.

Computing is one of the few areas where there are still jobs. There is a demand for employees with good Computer Science and IT degrees. It is absurd that we have schools and council no longer teaching Computing.

Kate Farrell said

at 3:25 am on Oct 10, 2011

ICT is important, and many schools have had PT ICT roles in the past in my council certainly but not so much now. Unfortunately that role tends to turn into a technical troubleshooter role rather than a pedagogical role. We do need to find a way to provide this, whether its by having a dedicated teacher in each school or a team at council level.

On a bigger scale it's sad that many councils don't even have a council-level ICT Development Officers, people to coordinate ICT in their schools. There needs to be someone (or ideally a team) at council level to find out the new technologies, to support the current technologies, to highlight good practice in schools, to suggest new ways of teaching with technology, to train and support teachers, to coordinate with IT providers at a council level.

dave terron said

at 10:03 am on Oct 10, 2011

Unlike many, I do NOT assume that kids are Digital Natives 8-) Read Dannah Boyd's views on why. I'm a Digital Native, many teachers who learn on the job or teach themselves are Digital Immigrants according to Penksy but far too may kids are not.

They can use Facebook but hit them with a Blue Screen of Death... I am not a Computing teacher yet I run the school website and have given S5/6 kids copies of Expression website creation software (free through the Dreamscape programme) - I've also taught how t hand code sites using html and CSS for example. All of this in my spare time because I want to help them understand how and why to use IT. IT is NOT the whole answer in some cases but kids need to understand how much of an answer it can be.

I also give all my kids from S1 upwards the choice to publish it not hand it in to paraphrase Alan November 8-) They have produced youtube videos, slideshows (using Percha Kucha 6 slides 6 words 6 graphics for example) and some great stuff in the likes of Word/Publisher and even a database of top ten poems 8-) I've had to show them simple things like the F9 or right click on a word to get synonyms. Silly little things they should know but are not taught.

dave terron said

at 9:51 am on Oct 10, 2011

I agree with Kate about the fact that some councils don't have the ICT Development Officers. Some do and those same individuals are then wasted as they find they can't do anything viable due to web filtering, a mysterious lack of resources etc. IT is often the case that a QIO or someone is 'volunteered' and then spends too little time on ICT due to their other duties. It needs to be a separate post.

Noelle O'Donoghue said

at 11:22 am on Oct 10, 2011

Glow has been in place for a number of years now, however trainee teachers are not being given any basic training in using it (possibly because their tutors have never used it). How can the government expect teachers who have been qualified for a lot longer to engage with it if the next generation of teachers don't have the skills to engage with it? The training of teachers to use Glow should be a governmental responsibility not left to local councils to decide how much or how little their teachers are trained. While I understand that each local authority has bought into Glow and uses Glow in different ways it is essential that all teachers have at least a basic grounding in how it works. Otherwise, what happens if they move to a job in a different local authority? They need to be trained all over again; costing more money.

Con Morris said

at 5:11 pm on Oct 10, 2011


There's a lot of research about what makes effective learning / pedagogy. The link above proposes 10 principles. My one thought for this debate is that we are all learners, that we should all be keeping an e-portfolio and that the proposed changes to Glow should meet every single one of these learning principles before we embark on its implementation as that e-portfolio system.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.