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Strategic planning for online learning
Strategic planning for online learning

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3.1 Scenarios prompt

Theme: Building competencies to support new kinds of learning

Describe the positive scenario for your school. Some ideas are given below. Amend, add or delete them to suit your own situation.

  • All teaching staff can use our core systems to support effective learning
  • All teaching staff are supported on a progression path to more advanced digital skills suited to their subject or role
  • The school identifies and rewards excellent teachers
  • Training and CPD, observation and appraisal for teaching staff all incorporate the use of digital technologies
  • A skilled IT team provides us with a robust, secure but flexible digital environment
  • We have staff who are skilled in online/blended learning, content development and learner analytics
  • The school has excellent digital learning resources and learning resource professionals
  • The school works closely with employers to build partnerships and understand workplace needs
  • The school values the skills and competences that pupils bring to school and has mechanisms to encourage peer support.
  • Other...

Ideas to consider:

  1. How would the school benefit if this scenario were fully realised?
  2. In what ways is your school already moving towards this scenario?
  3. What are the barriers?

Describe the negative scenario for your school. Some ideas are given below. Amend, add or delete them to suit your own situation.

  • Teaching staff digital skills remain low or very variable
  • Teaching staff do not feel trusted or rewarded to innovate
  • The IT team are outmoded in their approach
  • Learning resources are dated
  • No in-house expertise in online/blended learning, content development, learning analytics
  • Learners do not appreciate safe/ethical behaviour in online settings
  • The school does not work with employers to establish their needs for digitally-capable leavers
  • Staff have very little awareness of the IT skills that students bring to school.
  • Other...

Ideas to consider:

  1. What would be the likely consequences of this scenario?
  2. In what ways is your school already at risk of this outcome?
  3. What can you start doing now to minimise the risks?

Supporting parents and carers

As School Leaders, engaging with parents and carers effectively is critical in supporting pupils’ learning. For parents and carers to best support their child in engaging with online learning or in completing learning activities such as home learning, they need to understand how best to do this. It is important to consider how we can communicate with parents to help them support learning in the home. The EEF’s guide “Communicating Effectively with Families” provides useful tips for communicating with families. There are also a range of useful examples, some of which are specific to literacy and numeracy, giving parents and carers clear examples of how to use day-to-day experiences to support learning at home.

Useful resources

Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Communicating effectively with families

In summary, undoubtedly staff within your school will have developed competencies and skills in response to the unprecedented times of the global COVID-19 pandemic with restrictions and enforced school closures. School Leaders report they do not want to lose the tools and approaches for online learning that have developed. As School Leaders it is important to recognise that online learning is likely to have a place in every school, regardless of whether learning is taking place in school or remotely. It is also important to recognise that students will often have IT skills beyond those of the teacher and actively planning how to acknowledge and build on this could be important?

Perhaps there are ways of harnessing expertise amongst students to help students who are less confident? As always, it is important to consider teacher workload and manageability. There are opportunities to continue to build digital competencies across all stakeholders and embed digital skills as part of an approach to effective teaching in order to capitalise on new strengths that have developed.