Seaview Primary School in Belfast won the 2018 Tes schools award for innovative use of technology to influence outcomes.
Here, teachers Lynn Murphy and Robyn McKee give their top tips for making the best use of technology in your school.
- Tes awards: Best practice in maths
- Tes awards: Best practice in international projects
- Tes awards: Best practice for inclusive AP
Making the most of edtech
- Step one: Have a plan…. Plan an area of digital skills that you wish to develop. Fail to plan and plan to fail. New technology costs money and you need to ensure that you have the full backing of governors and the school leadership team before drafting any actions. Share your plan with staff and pupils to ensure that everyone is part of your vision.
- Step two: Technology is constantly evolving so pick one area you wish to develop this school year and then train your best classroom resource – the teachers. We do this in Seaview through "toast and technology" sessions. Toast and technology is usually led by the ICT coordinator who introduces a new device or product to the staff.
- Step three: Train the children as digital leaders. They can act as key ambassadors for the use of technology in the classroom, supporting teachers and other pupils. They can be trained to troubleshoot hardware issues and ensure that everything is stored safely at the end of the lesson.
- Step four: Ensure that the staff demonstrate resilience when teaching something for the first time. As teachers, we all can relate to that time when technology hasn’t worked for us, and this can be extremely frustrating. In our school, we believe this opportunity often leads to a culture of innovation and persistence. It is important children learn that when we are set back, we don’t give up.
- Step five: Effective use of educational technology can lead to a reduced workload for staff and increase motivation for children. If embedded well into your school, technology can save time. It also can improve behaviour and attendance for pupils and support parents through increased communication at home.