At St Joseph’s RC High School, we have recently integrated the use of digital technology into lessons due to its ability to enhance the learning experience for pupils, both inside and outside of the classroom. Additionally, parents and carers can now access their child’s learning in ways not previously possible and it is able to provide some wonderful opportunities for adults and children to explore and learn together.
Learning is always central to everything we do here at St. Joseph’s. As a result there is no expectation that learners will be using their devices for every piece of work produced: in fact it’s more about the additional choice on offer. Mobile technology is just another part of our school toolkit and as a result the best lesson may involve a lot, some or even no use of a device.
To ensure that technology is used effectively, it is important to recognise that devices are a tool designed to enhance learning, not to distract from it. With that in mind, Digital Leaders @ SJHS have devised the following set expectations as to how devices should be used in classrooms:
We would like to highlight that this is not a set of rules. Instead, this document aims to provide guidance about appropriate conduct when using devices and is designed to work alongside our school’s existing behaviour policy. Pupils need to be aware that if devices are used in a way that is considered inappropriate by a member of staff, it could lead to confiscation. Staff will follow the normal disciplinary procedures first before resorting to confiscation. An example of this may be:
– Verbal warning: pupils to close their device or put it away in their bag.
– Removal: device to be put on the teacher’s desk for the duration of the lesson, before being returned at the end.
– Confiscation: further breaches may result in the device being confiscated. Confiscated devices will be labelled and stored securely in the school safe. The device will be confiscated until a parent or carer makes contact with the school.
When creating our set of expectations, we aimed to ensure that it outlined the conditions necessary for effective learning using devices to take place. However, we acknowledge that a school is a diverse place and our expectations are designed to be flexible to meet the needs of different teachers, subjects and learning environments. Initially, we studied the approaches of other schools who had embarked on 1:1 journeys and took inspiration, whilst developing some of our own ideas to create something we felt was appropriate for St. Joseph’s. Following this, we consulted staff involved in the initial trial of devices. We felt this was important as they have first hand experience and we’re able to reflect on how practical this was in an actual classroom. Finally, we are committed to regularly reviewing our expectations as staff and students adapt to using devices in the classroom to ensure it remains fit for purpose and would welcome any feedback either in the comments section below, via Twitter or by talking to a Digital Leader.