Leading Digital Learning Series: Online Platforms – Primary
In this video from our Leading Digital Learning series, primary teachers and Technology in Education team members discuss the use of online platforms in schools. Niall Larkin, Senior Leader for Digital Technologies, observes that many schools are utilising online platforms due to the requirement of Circular 74/2020, which mandates all schools to have a learning platform for learning and communication. The most popular platforms used are Office 365 and Google Workspace for Education. Additionally, Seesaw and Class Dojo portfolios are popular at primary level. While some schools use these platforms simply as repositories for student work, others are more innovative, using them as spaces for content creation, sharing work among students, collaborating, and receiving feedback from both peers and teachers. These collaborative spaces are proving effective and Niall describes them as a digital school bag for students.
What platforms are schools using?
Mark Boggins, from Holy Family National School, Rathcoole says their school uses a combination of google workspace, Aladdin, website and Seesaw. Aladdin and the website is used throughout the school for communication with parents while Seesaw is specifically used for junior infants to 2nd class while Google Workspace is heavily used from 3rd to 6th class. Sandra Byrne, from Talbot Senior National School in Clondalkin, describes their online platforms as the school website, Twitter, email, and Aladdin. These platforms serve as their means of communication and engagement with their school community.
What is working well?
Mark highlights that Google Workspace and Chromebooks are effective tools, provided they are set up properly and the admin console is functioning correctly. The school benefits from Promethean interactive panels, making it easy for students to cast their Chromebooks onto the panels and share and showcase their work. This has led to more individualised pupil work, fostering self-discovery and allowing students to work at their own pace.
Sandra mentions that Twitter has been successful in her school due to its speed and ease of use for teachers. Teachers can quickly snap a picture of a pupil’s work and upload it to Twitter within a minute. Additionally, each teacher having their own school email account enhances communication within the school community.
Communication with parents
Both Mark and Sandra’s schools use emails and Aladdin as communication channels with parents. Teachers have dedicated school email accounts for this purpose. Additionally, both schools utilise their websites to provide parents with information, including a specific area for parents. Sandra’s school goes a step further by using Twitter to keep parents informed about ongoing school activities. The Twitter feed is integrated into the school website, enabling parents who don’t use Twitter to stay updated. In contrast, Mark’s school takes a proactive approach by inviting parents to the school for technology-related information sessions and also offers online webinars for parents’ convenience.
This interview is from our Leading Digital Learning course.
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