ERG SES H 11, ICT and Education
As computers form a significant part in today´s society, virtual learning environments (VLE) are becoming a significant aspect and expectation of education providers. VLEs were first introduced into educational settings around the year 2000, Ofsted (2009) and are now considered a growing expected part of Education provision. The survey commissioned in 2011 by the European Commission detailed, Information and Communication Technologies in school level education across Europe. This report recognised policy makers should dedicate attention to digital learning resources with the aim of increasing their use in lessons.
This research explores leadership vision and the challenges leaders face when embedding these learning technologies in schools. In addition, it offers advice on how to evaluate and measure VLE effectiveness.
There is relatively little literature guidance on quality indicators or pedagogical guidance for planning for VLEs in schools despite they are becoming such an educational requirement.
National benchmarking schemes such as the Becta Self-review Framework (2008) and the ICT Mark are available to diagnose current effectiveness of ICT provision in schools. However they do not go into specific details. Naace, 2014, produced guidance for self-review for schools to measure their ICT provision against benchmarks and standards. However these guidelines are vague and do not explain the pedagogy and so may not be practical examples of usage for teachers or leaders.
These studies and reports do not outline the specifics of the contents or usage of VLEs, thus leave schools or counties to develop their own. Hence there is relatively little guidance on the expectations for successful leadership strategies for VLEs.
Furthermore, the very nature of VLEs requires that leaders understand and tailor make the functionalities of VLEs to serve the audiences for which they are intended.
By researching how the participants use the VLE to enhance learning in a school, will enable VLE vision to be developed in the school improvement plan (SIP). To take advantage of the wide facilities VLEs can offer there needs to be a shared common understanding of the pedagogical implications of practices within the VLEs for practitioners.
This research explores the tacit knowledge of participating teachers which leads to grounded theory of effective pedagogical use of VLEs. Conclusions are then made on what is considered effective practice with VLEs in this primary school.
- Ascertain effective use of the VLE
- Develop clear strategies for leaders to manage VLEs
- Distribute leadership for VLEs by harnessing Teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, skills and experiences to embed technology in education practice.
Participating in the ECER conference will support the benefits of international collaboration. By sharing this action research from current primary practice will encourage more discussion and debate for educationalists of how to embrace and lead technological changes in schools. This presentation will open dialogue between leaders and practitioners (from different contexts and countries) of how pedagogy and technology can enhance each other. This presentation will encourage Leaders to become transformational with developing technology and open dialogue for sharing knowledge of infrastructures and professional development for technology.
It will encourage leaders to be proactive to ICT change and involve their teams in building vision and strategy. By sharing core values such as pedagogy, Educational leaders will speak a common language and share a common purpose which will encourage collaboration and communication.
This will ensure that we as Educational providers are driving change forward beyond our current experiences into the future, equipping pupils and staff with the appropriate skills for this ever-changing, technology-based future.
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