Virtual CPD, which we introduced during 2020, has proved to be a resounding success, opening up many more opportunities for schools and teachers to learn new skills, try new tools and share ideas.
CLC virtual CPD is as far from death by PowerPoint over Zoom as it’s possible to get. Sessions are fun, interactive and practical with teachers trying out digital tools in real time, sharing resources on padlets and taking part in workshop breakout groups.
All our virtual CPD helps to foster communities of practice - forums allow for shared practice between specialists
For example, in 2020 we hosted weekly virtual meetings with computing subject leaders so they could hear what other schools are doing and get ideas and opinions, adding weight to conversations with SLTs in school.
One of the most appreciated elements of our regular conferences is the networking. Time and again teachers tell us how much they value the community of practice we enable and the opportunity to share ideas and experiences and hear how others are tackling an issue. It’s also one of the things that is hardest to transfer from face-to-face over coffee to Zoom.
Our solution at our recent primary computing conference was a padlet with a series of columns with intriguing titles:
What did you try that really didn’t work?
The shop window
What did you try that you would recommend?
What did you try that has strong potential?
What did you try that is here to stay?
What did you try that was fine for the time?
Teachers were invited to share their finds and their fails from this strange year of remote and blended learning and they did it with enthusiasm. We all learnt that whole class show and tells on Zoom really weren’t a great idea but that recorded and virtual assemblies were a hit. Twitter worked well for one school:
“Using Twitter as a way to stay connected as a whole school community. Every morning teachers checked in with their class and signposted the learning for the day and it also acted as a space for the school community to share their learning with each other.”
While another teacher, in early years, found that an EYFS newsletter was a success:
“The parents love getting an inside look into the classroom and fully understanding what we do each week.”
And another recommended Screencastify as an alternative to Loom:
“It has several additional tools that help – eg focus mouse and the ability to write on the screen.”
G-suite has proved to be a long-term solution for one school:
“We set up G-suite accounts for all our children. The google classrooms are used for blended learning and to set homework for the whole class. It is also a very useful tool for dialogue between home and the teacher. We have also integrated the other programs within G-suite (doc, slides, sheets etc…) into our curriculum and are moving our planning onto slides and our server onto drive. This will allow our teachers to plan from home without needing to remote access our school’s server.”
I always feel more confident and inspired after each session.
“I have had the best morning for ages – really stimulating and useful and it has reminded me how much I don't know and want to learn more about. Thank you so much”
“Excellent range of resources given and interactive approach. Brilliant to have individual sessions that covered so much!”
“I really enjoy coming together with you guys and other teachers, and sharing ideas. The new things you mentioned will be very useful.”
“Always so helpful to hear what other people have managed to do successfully and to share ideas and resources. Practical advice/tips much appreciated”
“[I feel more] confident to share information with teachers and therefore learning outcomes will improve for children across the whole school.”
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Our support package covers the following:
This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.
Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.
This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.
This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates
The morning will include case study presentations followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.
Special project in collaboration with First News Education
For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.
The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.
The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities.
Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm.
Project work undertaken in school - October and November.
Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.
The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.
Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.
The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.
These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.
There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.