Back to the classroom

Its been a busy 5 weeks.

On the 17th Aug I started a new role as Curriculum Leader (Head of Department) of Craft Design and Technology in the Royal High School of Edinburgh.

The last time I work from a single school was 4 and half years ago, as Deputy Head Teacher. I was then seconded from Islay High to come to Edinburgh and work with the Scottish Governments Digital Directorate. With the goal to help the team change the Glow Platform. I also supported the development of the Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy.

For the last 2 years I have worked with the amazing NoTosh Team. Helping people change the way they choose to work, all around the world.

This was a fantastic experience working with schools and other organisations who want to innovate and change. So back to teaching in schools again. I now have the opportunity to bring what I have learned back to a school closer to home.

The Royal High School of Edinburgh has a long tradition and glorious history, all 890 years of it and it has its eye clearly towards the future. So here I am finding my feet with timetables, classrooms, resources, a great team and a whole new environment.

The School is a 1–2–1 school this year with all 1200 pupils getting iPads. The Digital Learning Environment is based on Microsoft Office 365.

So bringing together my background knowledge and experiences. We have introduced stand up meetings to pupils and staff, actively modelling collaboration and feedback and using the technology to support. With Design Thinking at its core.

I am directly Teaching Design and Manufacturing and Graphic Communications to senor pupils. I decided to use Microsoft Teams (Try the Demo https://teamsdemo.office.com/ ) as the hub for the Learning and Teaching and set up a OneNote class notebook with the class. These 2 courses are practical and active but with clear learning outcomes. This last week I downloaded the course specifications from the SQA site and shared these with the students via the Class Note. I introduced the concept of Traffic lighting. Green -when the pupil feels confident, yellow - has some knowledge but not fully confident and red-need to know more.

Traffic light of skills and knowledge.

This sort of feedback to me from every pupil in the class is an excellent way for me to personalise the course and make more effective use of class time.

Lots more to be used within Office 365 as well. A colleague has jumped into using Microsoft Stream and has been recording personalised tutorials for her class.

Now I have a request…… who would like to collaborate to develop Notebooks for courses? I must admit I tried to do this previously but the teaching community were at the early stage of becoming familiar with the technology. I feel this has moved on. So going to try again and use what I have learned.

Drop me a message and lets start collaborating and sharing the workload.