Helen Boulton writes…
We all know how hard it can be to keep up with technology. Our colleagues in schools find this a challenge particularly in terms of the expectations of their role and the lack of time they have to keep up to date with their own discipline, never mind working at developing their digital literacy skills.
A couple of years ago we were given funding by the training agency to work with a group of teachers in supporting them in developing their digital literacy skills by pairing them with a pre-service teacher. We worked with teachers from different disciplines and developed a range of materials to support them with this work. This developed into a research project to identify what could facilitate teachers in developing this aspect of their role. The classrooms where we focussed the project was with students who had low levels of literacy, identifying which technologies might support them the in raising the literacy level of 11 to 14 year old. Many of the students were learning in their second language, with low literacy levels, special educational needs and disabilities, or identified as disengaged with learning by their school. The research was undertaken as a collaborative project: university tutors working with qualified teachers and pre-service. Ninety-two students were involved in the research.
The outputs of the research can be found either as a staff development resource for others to use in schools, and another resource for teacher educators to use in upskilling pre-service teachers in using technologies. The resources can be found on the ITTE website, on the Resources tab.
The research was also written into a paper, published in the Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education, which can be accessed here:
The citation is:
BOULTON, H. 2017. Exploring the effectiveness of new technologies: Improving literacy and engaging learners at risk of social exclusion in the UK. Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education 63, 73-81