Technology in Education: Making a difference to pupil learning (#SCSSA Annual Conference 2014)

[Ollie’s website](

“Technology is not going to make teaching easier, it’s going to make it different” – Chris Kennedy, West Vancouver School District

New usage models in everyday life

Who would think that Twitter – essentially a digital post it note – could be so disruptive.

Technology is changing how we interact:

New tools, old tricks?

How could we leverage technology to meet in a different way?

Technology for Learning

The investment in technology in classroom hasn’t really paid off. Why?

– infrastructure

– worked well for enthusiastic early adopters, not so much for the rest

Technology IN learning

Take the learning first, how can technology improve it?

Feedback has impact – Dylan Williams, John Hattie

How can we use technology to give feedback digitally?

Model for student engagement

Learning is interesting or engaging. Learning through good pedagogy.

Ollie’s components for exciting learning:

– cultural relevance

– real time interaction

– different learning pathways

– authentic audience

– accessible

This has got teachers talking (and sometimes worried) in his school.

I. Culture

If we invest in digital it has to be really good digital.

Ollie found that games had a calming influence directly after break. Students played Wall-E for five minutes, then updated a Google Doc to lead into a numeracy task.

Google Doodle’s cultural relevance. It is a great opportunity for people to dive into learning about different, but relevant topics around the world.

Choice is important

Each person is engaging with text in some form of another.

Allowing students to access the text in differnt way:

– PDFs or graphic novels?

II. Real time learning

Dumfries and Galloway – delivering music tuition via video conferencing.

[Skype in the classroom](

– mystery skype: guess where the other school is

Google Earth

– can superimpose real time weather maps

– webcam view of other time zones

We shouldn’t just be planning to develop documents, we should also think about collaborative working with 1:1 devices

We are not talking about 1:1 anymore, it is really 2:1 though using mobile phones AND laptops / tablets in class.

Voice is very important: Students use voice search more than adults. This can change classroom culture.

Social media – history event anniversaries, links with NASA. Golden moments.

If we want children to improve their writing, create digital assets to develop skills before returning to traditional forms (e.g. Pixton comics)

IV. Audience

Turn work around to show the public during holidays.

YouTube channels can facilitate formative and summative assessment.

Trust and respect – youtube is unblocked for students

EPortfolios leads to students publishing to Wikipedia. Enables discussion about bias and validity of information.

V. Accessibility

Young people are being prevented from using technology because we don’t teach them the skills they need.

Susan greenfield – “the most important skill is framing the right question”

Develop appropriate skills.

GLOW evolution (#SCSSA Annual Conference 2014)

Ian Stuart was a fierce critic of the original Glow. He is now GLOW product owner working with the Scottish Government.

I haven’t used Glow in anger for a long time. I say anger because I used to absolutely loathe it.

I also had issue with how the Local Authorities banned anything other than Glow in an attempt to force teachers to use it. The theme underpinning the entire conference has been that any initiative that is forced upon teachers is doomed to fail.

This is the first time I’ve logged into the new Glow.

The new apps look good but I feel – and my table agree – that because we moved away from Glow in search of a better, more reliable product, many of us have found a better, reliable product and so don’t need to move back.

Ian is keen for front line practitioners to get in touch with issues.

If your local authority has a Microsoft agreement you can download the full version of Office onto your personal devices. Currently 27/32 of the local authorities in Scotland have this agreement.

Uploading class lists from Seemis will be available in the next two weeks through the Management Console.