Edtech and home learning

 This week has been one of the worst for schools up and down the county, as Covid-19 takes over and thousands of schools prepare for emergency school care and home learning. 

Here are a few tips from us to developing and using Edtech to support those learning at home and at school.

1. It's going to be a marathon not a sprint. You do not have to develop an all singing, all dancing, home learning tech-filled environment RIGHT NOW. Think, plan and prepare. Don't rush into something just because you think you have to!

2. Utilise things you already do or know in school. Don't change platforms if you don't have to - use what your staff already know and are comfortable with. iPads have an in-built screen record feature which will allow you to create simple explainer videos.  Platforms such as Seesaw and Google Classroom are simple and easy to use to share work and activities (chunk videos so that they are no more than 2/3 minutes each, this will help students to access them at home). You don't have to live stream yourself teaching a live lesson, this will be far too impractical for most! Keep it simple!

Here is a very quick video showing how to set up screen recording on an iPad

3. You don't have to set work twice. Allow pupils to access what you are putting out for home learning if they are in school. 

4. When setting up your work in the learning platform, include the date and lesson sequence. This is so children can find the right work for the right day. Don't forget that some families might only have one device across multiply children so you don't have to fill the entire day with online lessons. 

5. Refine as you go along. As confidence grows in the platform you are using, then so will the creativity of those using it. Use your tech experts to show what they have learned and pass it on, but don't also be afraid to reject ideas if it it all gets a bit too complex! 

6. Video conferencing helpful for staff meetings and team meetings. We have tested a few for different schools this week and have found Zoom the best for talking and sharing screens.  We have also tried Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts but Zoom seemed the most stable.

7. Take it easy and look after yourselves. If you need to reach out to people, do it! We are happy to help on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter but there is a great network of Edtech people out there to tap into if you need it. 

If you are looking for some CPD for your staff then we have launched our online training platform. It's still in it's early stages but there are free courses available on Seesaw and Google Classroom. Click here to find out more and sign up for our free trial.