NP3 recommendations for teachers

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ICT outside school ICT in school Pedagogy Recommendations

Recommendations for senior leaders in schools[edit]

The data clearly indicate that there is a gulf between children’s digital practices outside school and teachers’ pedagogical practices inside school. Whilst schools are constrained by the constitutive order, and in particular by curriculum, assessment and accountability regimes, the data suggest that:

  • there is often a conflict between what schools are required to do and what staff believe is educationally and/or morally the appropriate thing to do
  • some schools are better at maintaining their principles than others, and demonstrate that it is possible to ‘do the right thing by the children’ and still be rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted
  • where schools/teachers adopt a Constructivist or Innovative pedagogical approach (as defined within the Innovative Pedagogy Framework (see Section 4.8) they are more likely to capitalise on investments in mobile devices

Schools need to be clear about their educational priorities and should use the Innovative Pedagogy Framework (IPF) to help them clarify their pedagogical beliefs. They should ensure that their ICT strategy aligns with those priorities and their pedagogical model.

Whilst it is beyond the scope of this study to provide guidance on the implementation of ICT strategies, it is clear that there is little point in investing in mobile devices (or other ICT resources) if staff are not going to use them effectively.

Senior leaders should carefully plan the roll out of their ICT strategy, taking heed of the plentiful advice that is available, including, for example about the implementation of mobile devices (e.g. see http://edfutures.net/Digital_technology_strategies), and effective professional development (e.g. Twining & Henry, 2014; Twining, Raffaghelli, Albion & Knezek, 2013).

The data clearly showed that where schools tried to prevent children using the internet outside school in ways the school deemed inappropriate children simply concealed their out of school online activities from their teachers. If schools wish to educate children so that they remain safe online then it is counterproductive to ignore the realities of what children are doing outside school, or to try to prevent such ICT use.

Schools should more proactively seek out information about digital practices ‘in the home’. However, schools should avoid trying to manage or formalise children’s out of school digital practices. Imposing a school model of ‘appropriate practice’ would undermine children’s development as users of ICT, as defined by the Digital Practice Framework.

Recommendations for teachers[edit]

Whilst the data clearly show that teachers perceive that the constitutive order and their school arena often constrain their pedagogy, it is clear that teacher agency is one of the most important determinants of what happens in classrooms.

Teachers should use the Innovative Pedagogy Framework (IPF) to clarify their pedagogical beliefs. They should have more confidence to share those beliefs with colleagues and implement them within their practice.

In contexts in which children have access to a high level of ICT resourcing, and in particular 1 to 1 mobile device provision, teachers should give children much greater freedom to decide when and how to use ICT in order to achieve desired outcomes.

Teachers should ensure equal access, both in terms of time and types of use, for all children to ensure ICT use is inclusive and does not perpetuate the disadvantages experienced by various groups of children based on factors such as gender and perceptions of ‘ability’.

Teachers should provide opportunities for discussion of the children’s out of school digital practices. However, they should be aware that where these practices are in breach of school rules or expectations then children will manage what they share in school.

ICT outside school ICT in school Pedagogy Recommendations
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