Just before Christmas 2015, we launched a call to secondary and special education schools across the city to participate in a new peer led network, designed to focus supporting school staff digital literacy and CPD. The network builds on the DigiLit Leicester project, which successfully established a process for identifying strengths and gaps in digital literacy, and improving skills and confidence school and city-wide.
ICT investment in Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme has provided all city mainstream secondary and special education secondary schools in the city with world-class technology designed to support effective teaching and learning, connect communities and provide opportunities for teachers and learners to collaborate across the city and beyond. Over the last 5 years we have rebuilt and refurbished 19 schools, completing a programme which benefits over 20,000 young people.
Peer network leads will ensure that staff at all levels continue to be supported in improving skills and developing their practice. The new network represents 10 city schools:
Mahala Active-Nemaura, Head of Computer Science, The Lancaster School
Antoinette Bouwens,Business Manager, St Paul’s Catholic School
Will Carter, Director of Music, English Martyrs’ Catholic School
Natalie Coley and Julie Eden, Nether Hall School
Josie Franklin, ICT/Computing/Computer Science Teacher, Moat Community College
Fabienne Preston, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, Crown Hills Community College
Elsbeth Woodgate, Educational Technologist, Ellesmere College
Mahala Active-Nemaura and Tony Tompkins will be taking responsibility for co-ordination the network, which will run until July 2017. Members will also be working with Leicester’s Open Schools Network, to ensure all schools take advantage of the city councils work in relation to open educational licensing and support for open practice.
Each school has selected a strand of the DigiLit Leicester framework to focus on during the lifetime of the project, and will be focusing on raising confidence and competence levels in this area. Schools were free to select their prefered area from the six framework strands –
- Assessment and Feedback
- Communication, Collaboration and Participation
- Creating and Sharing
- E-Safety and Online Identity
- Finding, Evaluating and Organising
- Technology supported Professional Development
Interestingly, all participating schools selected one of three strands: Assessment and Feedback, Communication, Collaboration and Participation, or Technology supported professional Development – giving us three working groups.
The Peer Network Leads will:
- Work in partnership with the Open Schools Network, to ensure work completed compliments and supports the development, implementation and identification of good practice in open education.
- Commit to developing their own specialist knowledge of the chosen digital literacy strand area, as well as complimentary knowledge relating to open education, open educational resources and open licences.
- Support staff at their school in relation to the development of practice supported by the chosen digital literacy strand, ensuring progression amongst all staff but particularly in relation to staff currently working at Entry level.
- Ensure that activities undertaken support the school improvement plan and in particular, learner outcomes and quality of teaching.
- Be an active member of the DigiLit Leicester Network in Leicester – supporting other members, encouraging primary school participation, sharing approaches and ideas, and promoting your work and the work of the other network members.
- Document and share practice and any high quality resources created in the context of the project under open licence, in line with Leicester City Council recommendations.
Congratulations to all participating schools and good luck for the year ahead!