ST TERESA’S JOURNEY WITH COMPUTER UP-SKILLING
The need to get all staff ‘computer literate’ was becoming more and more apparent with the inundation of new devices. The school wanted to introduce iPads at some stage, but with staff who were very reluctant and felt unsure generally it wasn’t a possibility.
The wonderful suggestion to introduce up-skilling came from Knowledge Network and so a process began. We started very slowly in Word and worked through a number of projects that allowed the teachers to gain confidence. After session training each time, I noticed how the staff would sit down the next day and ask each other questions and get really excited when they discovered something new. The collaboration amongst the staff was wonderful.
We started this journey three years ago and have made incredible progress in all aspects of computer work. The staff are now happy to try projects and different approaches to their subjects because of the confidence they have gained from their training. Excel mark sheets and PowerPoint projects are not daunting at all. Again, if they do bump into a problem, they are quite happy to bring the difficulty to the staffroom where someone will give advice or solve the issue with them.
Even more extraordinary has been the confident manner in which iPads have moved into their lessons. The fact that they have a sound basic knowledge of computers has given the staff the confidence to try different aspects of teaching they would never have dreamt of previously.
Next year we are facing logistical problems with computers as we are building, and the one thing the staff have asked is that we continue our training to keep current and to keep moving forward.
I am delighted at the improvement in all our skills as well as the camaraderie it has brought to the staff. I can highly recommend up-skilling.
Read My Story iPads
Deborah Schamrel, Principal, School of Merit, High School, Edenvale, South Africa
Upskilling with Knowledge Network
Five years ago the School of Merit High School introduced iPads as a compulsory tool for all learners; with the help of Knowledge Network and a compulsory hour per week added to the timetable.
While the students took to this new tool like the proverbial duck to water, teacher’s reservations seemed to grow, especially because the skills gap between the learner and that of the teacher was incrementally widening. Teachers were happy enough to use iPads for textbooks but the confidence of ‘knowing’ the apps well enough to use in the classroom was lacking.
Knowledge Network suggested upskilling in order to diminish this skills gap.
It was, for many teachers, daunting and a ‘hectic’ learning curve, yet, an exciting dynamic has been added to the ethos of learning and adapting to millennial demands: Communication with parents has improved across the school as teachers communicate concerns with parents immediately; Teachers have the confidence to try new things, albeit simply a youtube video or exploring Livecams or a subject-specific App; spending hours teaching and checking referencing has largely been eliminated.
More importantly, the creativity button is on, with fantastic ideas being actioned in the classroom.
This, would not have been achieved without the confidence being instilled by the upskilling courses.
Familiarity has made all the difference. However, the most valuable aspect is the realisation that we have to do things differently in our changing world and now the teachers are willing to give it a go- no small thanks to Knowledge Network.