It has taken me a while to put this post together as the integration of digital technology at Stonefields is huge and it was hard to know where to start! Everyday, technologyÂ isÂ completely woven into the learning both in and out of school for students, parents and staff.
Often technology within schools can act as an ‘add-on’ to lessons, something that can momentarily engage children or something which is added to the end of a lesson, my own practise included here. It is not like this at Stonefields. Children have 1:1 devices from Y2 upwards, something which they do not see as a novelty but more as a tool that is integral to their learning. As a result of this, the children are incredibly computer literate and are able to complete quite complex procedures with ease, a skill that will be incredibly valuable as technology becomes increasingly more essential and embedded within everything we do. However, Â from what I have seen the computer skills they display are simply used as a tool to support them in challenging themselves, collaborating and taking ownership of their own learning.
How does it work?
From what I have observed at Stonefields, they use Google Docs, Drive and Classroom in what appears to be a seamless system to support children’s learning.
Each learning hub has a page (google site) which can be accessed by children, staff and parents – this means that they can, and do, continue to learn out of school and share anything they are proud of with their parents. For example, today they were producing some fab movies about being CyberSmart and what to do if you are unsure about something online. These videos were then uploaded to the relevant part of the hub site so that children could access them, both to show parents and to embed into their CyberSmart learning journey slideshow, something I will discuss more later.
Lesson Structure & Planning
On each hub page, staff share their planning for the week. This means that learnersÂ can ‘get ahead’ on their learning and come to workshops and sessions pre-prepared. The learners are also able to access the Google Slides from the lesson, personalised for their particular group and including all resources they might need. One child explained to me how this helped her with ‘building knowledge’. The use of this was particularly inspiring during breakthrough time, something I know Marc has previously mentioned. The learnersÂ were able to use their google slide presentation to take me step by step through the learning process they had gone through in order to plan and complete their break-through learning. This was amazing to listen to and there was clearly a huge sense of ownership of the learning.
Evidencing and Progression
Children store all learning on a google drive, this is accessible to the teacher but also to other learners if they choose it to be in order to collaborate on a challenge or present their learning to a group via an Apple TV. I think that the use of technology for collaboration is something I have learned a lot about in my time at Stonefields. On the other hand,Â when completing tasks such as uploading things to a particular drive or folder, the children are extremely independent and demonstrateÂ a competency that a lot of adults may struggle with!
In addition to this, the children also have progression documents linked to their individual google drive. This was the part I thought was really fantastic. Children highlight the progression statements that they have achieved and back this up with evidence – Â this could be a link to an explain everything document or a particular piece of work on a google slide. This means that they can see where there gaps are and in turn use this to choose what they need to work on, completing the circle.
I hope that all made sense, please comment if not! I am just trying to give aÂ brief overview of a very impressive and purposeful system that is used in an incredibly effective way to support the learning. I think I am beginning to understand the part ofÂ Stonefields’ vision that states that they ‘cause learning’ and hope that in my next four days I can learn even more from them!