The following post is a guest post from Learning Possibilities, one of our Microsoft in Education Partners, and takes a further look at LP+365 at Townhill Junior School, from the perspective of a teacher. Learning Possibilities recently joined us at BETT 2016 as part of the inaugural Microsoft Partner Village.
As an educationalist with an enthusiasm for technology to support learning, I often find myself researching ways in which we can measure the success of using technology in class.
One I’m quite familiar with by now is The ADOPT framework, developed and published by Learning Possibilities and Wolverhampton City Council, which proceeds through five stages: Awareness; Development; Optimisation; Pioneering and Transformation.
Figure 1 The five stages of ADOPT, from the ADOPT Framework developed and published by Learning Possibilities, and Wolverhampton City Council.
Having worked on LP+365 within the classroom through various lessons, I definitely feel that we’ve reached the awareness stage of the ADOPT framework with LP+365 at Townhill Junior School. At the moment, I am the only teacher using it within the Pilot with LP+, but from my experience in using the solution I can’t wait to get my colleagues on board. I feel that the simplicity of the learning platform pretty much speaks for itself - so much so that it’s easy to fit it into most lessons without having to worry about the technicalities behind it.
Maths and literacy are two things we’re working on this year at school, and so we’ve been using the platform a lot in lessons to build engagement and interest in related topics. Typically I find that there are different tools that we tend to use for different parts of a lesson or project such as surveys, wikis, Class Notebook and discussions for research; libraries and Office Web Apps for planning; and videos, blogging, and wikis for execution and presentation of work.
The second stage of the ADOPT framework, development recognises the stage that takes place when we begin replacing former activities such as planning, setting and displaying work with learning platform alternatives. One of my objectives in using LP+365 with my students is to develop our learners as learners for the future. Education is supposed to prepare our children for employment and the future. While different companies look for different skills, a recent survey by Guernsey Employer Skills 2014 found technical skills among the most difficult to find, according to commercial employers.
Figure 2 Results from the Guernsey Employer Skills Survey 2014 - Skills that employers are finding difficult to obtain.
From reading various surveys and research papers, it’s clear that though educational technology is finally picking up in the UK, we still need to do a lot more to ensure that our students have the right skills for the workplace upon completing their education.
The development stage will help in reaching my school’s objective in preparing our students as learners of the future. In slowly replacing certain processes with technology (where suited) not only will we begin to introduce our students to new ways of working, new ways of thinking and a multitude of new skills, but we’re also enjoying the fact that technology is helping us to manage our work in the class far more efficiently.
The next step of the ADOPT Framework, and one I hope to reach within the remainder of this term is Optimisation. I haven’t been on LP+365 for a huge length of time, but already I’ve begun to see how and where we could use the solution to enhance the way that we work at school. It would be a great portal for staff, and eventually I would love to see it used throughout the curriculum in lessons throughout the school. For me, getting more staff on board will be the next step towards Optimisation of LP+365 at Townhill Junior School.
The final stages of the ADOPT framework are pioneering and transformation. We have a while to go before we reach these stages of the framework, as these changes don’t just happen overnight. But when we eventually do progress to this level, it’s expected that the potential of LP+365 will be recognised at school, and we’ll be using LP+365 for tasks and projects that would not easily be replicated by more ‘traditional’ means. I would love to think that at this stage of our rollout, we would be able to host a collaborative project with neighbouring schools, it would be great to get local high schools involved to enable us to better support and ease our Year 6 students’ transition into secondary.
Imagining where we’ll be during the final stages of the framework is amazing. As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I’m an educationalist with a passion for educational technology. Though the solution hasn’t been rolled out across the school as of yet, we’re expecting to go ahead with this as soon as possible. I’m so happy with our achievement on the LP+365 App to date, especially that of our students. They’ve achieved so much in a short space of time, and I can’t wait to see what’s yet to come.
For more information on the LP+365 app click here now, and download the LP+365 Free Preview App from the Microsoft Office Store here.