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Teachers as digital creators

So Julia, how are the different media working for you at the moment (with your teacher hat on)?

So, we basically have two different models in our school:

  • those teachers doing live lessons; and
  • those teachers providing pre-recorded lessons

The reason why we’re doing that is because some teachers are available during the day because they don’t have kids at home and some teachers are not at all available during the day because they’re juggling their own children and they can’t work live.

And it’s really important as a school leader to respect what your teachers can and can’t do and to plan around their workloads.

So in the same way that we differentiate for children, you have to differentiate for your staff.

Putting staff wellbeing first, we have these two models: the pre-recorded lesson, which is the equivalent to the Khan Academy, model where you’re flipping the lesson. You’re providing this content that the children can watch in their own time.

They can rewind it and watch it as many times as possible and, what I’m finding is, the teachers who are very good presenters are really thriving on this model because they can get as creative as they want, they turn the energy right up, they use props and they really enjoy presenting the information.

And then there are the teachers who thrive on the energy in the room, the relationship and the reciprocity that happens between the teacher and the student

And those teachers are coming for the live video event as much as they can.

So I’ve got some teachers who are doing 20 minutes every day and they’re alternating Maths and English.

I’ve got some who have whole class groups and then they’ve got breakout rooms where their teaching assistant goes into a breakout room with them or, in the breakout room, there’ll be Latin, in the main room will be English and then they’ll flip over, so these are all different ways we’re learning to use Zoom and it’s working very, very well for us.

So, now that we’ve got our security settings pretty well established, we have an idea about how to be confident that the security’s all right and then also giving students proper training in online learning, how to keep them muted, how to allow themselves to unmute themselves etc.

Once you’ve got all of those norms established, then there’s a lot you can do with Zoom in terms of building a back and forth.

Then you have to consider what the parents have to say and we know that there will always be a range of opinions and there’ll be people who are happy with the resource and people who are not happy with the resource.

The people who are enjoying the pre-recorded are using it in their own time, so if there’s siblings in the house, you don’t have to stick to a schedule or a structure if people are vying for access to the laptop at the same time, which can be very, very convenient.

But then at the same time, with the Zoom resource, you can record it and share it afterwards so everybody can have access to it.

We’re embracing the adaptability and flexibility at the moment!

Julia Silver
Passionate about unlocking learning, Julia launched Qualified Tutor to enable tutors to improve outcomes for all our students. Julia is Senior Leader in a primary school in London, has been tutoring for fifteen years and has children ranging in age from 4 to 14.

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