In recent days I had a discussion with a colleague who works with school leaders and we were chatting about how schools are embedding digital technologies into their practices. The person I spoke with was lessthan convinced that schools are embedding digital technologies into their practice to support their primary work – the teaching of the curriculum. This discussion is coming at a time when schools will be introduced to the Digital Learning Framework (DLF) during the new school year. The DLF is focused on embedding the use of digital technologies within a curriculum context and already the PDST-TiE are capturing examples of teacher practice and sharing it with teachers nationally.
Others are too realising that frameworks, such as the DLF, should help teachers to enhance their practice. Recent work at a European level on digital competences is also now beginning to consider how we can link such frameworks to teacher practice.
Teaching is as a practice profession and teachers are keen to enhance their practice so that their learners are more engaged and have a more rewarding learning experience. When we put digital technologies into the mix they want to know how others are using the tools and how it is impacting, or not, on learning. So the focus needs to be more on why and how teachers are using these tools and less on what tool are you using?
One project in the Further Education and Training sector that is taking such an approach is TELMS. TELMS, which stands for Technology Enhanced Learning Mentoring Support, has taken an approach that supports teachers to develop and share their practice in a safe environment with colleagues. The project has been extremely successful and there will be a conference in Ireland later in the year to share the findings and resources. Over the coming months the project will be developing a toolkit to capture the process and a range of resources to help other FET professionals and others, to take the approach and localise it for their setting. So keep an eye out and if you are interested you can follow the project on Twitter also.