There is a group of experts at Hallam who are playing a vital role to help transform some of our case studies into useful OERs. Julia Myers’ group of PGCE students from Sheffield Hallam University came to meet Anna and I to talk about their perceptions of what digital literacy means to them as beginner teachers and what sort of resources would be useful to them in their own practice. The intention is that these students will review our case studies and offer suggestions for ways in which they will support future practice. Through their own practice they are considering the opportunities and potential, limitations and challenges that digital technologies offer. They plan to look at the relevance of specific case studies in terms of the impact of digital technology and the nature of digital literacies; and seek related opportunities appropriate to alternative age and ability groups.
We want to make our resources user friendly, so we will be acting on the help and support of this highly motivated and inspiring future user group.
At our first meeting, we were amazed at the level of competence exhibited. Some students talked enthusiastically about the excellent projects they had started in their placement schools, apparently undaunted by the fact that they were uncertain that their ideas would be supported after they had left. They were impatient to try out these ideas in their own schools when they had graduated, with their own classes. One student talked of how he encouraged his pupils to send emails to a partner school in Thailand, opening up the possibility of quadblogging (that is being trialled at Sharrow and Mundella schools) He had learned from experience that his pupils are much more likely to produce fine writing if doing so for a specific audience. Other students talked about using flip cameras with students to develop their language skills, others spoke of how they used Edmodo as a facebook for under fourteen year olds. Their creative contributions gave us a lot to think about.
We were particularly interested to find out from the students where they looked for ideas to enhance their teaching, as this would give us an idea about how to arrange our own resources. The facilities they use most are teach meets, twitter, webchats and the TES magazine, which they found was well set out, and easy to flick through.
They told us in no uncertain terms what they would look for in a case study…
- They wanted it to be clearly and concisely written- and colourful!
- They would like a descriptive title, and underneath three or four bullet points about the content. They did not want to plough through lots of irrelevant pros to find out whether it was useful to them.
- They would like the findings at the beginning, and hints on how methods/resources can be adapted for different ages and abilities, and they had lots of suggestions as to how this could be done.
With these instructions in mind, the DeFT team are starting to write up the case studies.
We hope that they will meet with approval!