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Future of education is collaboration

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According to the latest study, commissioned by Steljes Limited in partnership with Lancaster University, collaboration technology has an increasingly important role to play in education. 

The study shows the link between overall school advancement, including gains in attendance and attainment, and a technology-enhanced well-led strategic improvement plan, with outcomes including increased attendance of three per cent and improvement in writing, reading and mathematics. The study focuses on a primary school in the West Midlands and its use of SMART technologies and associated professional development, to act as the catalyst to regenerate positive improvement for a school previously judged by OFSTED as “Requiring Improvement”.

The report was written by Professor Don Passey from Lancaster University who will be speaking at the event and David Whyley, a learning technologies consultant with a 35-year track record in education. The content illustrates the connection between a well-implemented technology roll out and school improvement. “Educational technology companies are often asked if their products have had any real impact in schools, and seldom have they been able to demonstrate a real link,” says David Whyley. “The school’s use of the SMART products, such as the interactive whiteboard system and interactive flat panels, clearly demonstrated the benefits of both the right technologies and collaborative learning.

“The head teacher stated that one of the key outcomes of the technology implementation was that perceptions by parents were very positive and that created an upward spiral of positivity which essentially lifted the whole school out of its negative situation as a result of its OFSTED rating.” Co-author Professor Don Passey says: “What we also found was that collaboration was something that needed to be taught and is not something that children do naturally. While the use of technology definitely plays a role in furthering collaboration in the classroom, responsibility needs to be shared and there needs to be a greater ownership of learning within the school environment.”

The focus on collaboration is further benefiting the children from the school in preparing them for being tested on collaborative problem solving at age 15 as part of the newly implemented Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) international learning tables. The Future of a Collaborative Approach to Teaching, Learning and Assessment discussion will focus on the role collaboration plays in education. Speakers also include Graham Brown-Martin, founder of Learning Without Frontiers, as well as students and teachers from the school.

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