Back in October, I absent-mindedly posted a little Twitter flurry about the vital importance of professional learning with technology for teachers and how schools can support each other in this, but if schools don’t have enough money to even buy computers there definitely isn’t any to pay for such training.
Unbeknownst to me, the UK Department for Education — that very day — announced what they called the EdTech Demonstrator School Programme. The idea for this was that the government would identify schools who are doing effective things with educational technology and then provide funding for them to support other schools in developing their own EdTech strategy and approach.
As a school already both doing innovative things with technology and supporting other schools as well, we registered our interest and then formally applied for the programme. After a brief purdah hiatus (thank you Brexit!) we were then invited to interview for the programme where we had to present our plans for spending the funding. Our proposal was basically to run a 5-day course throughout the year for computing leads and senior leaders, helping them explore all the elements required to make EdTech work in a school. The majority of the funding was to go on paying release costs for schools for delegates to attend, plus providing a baseline of technology to use through the programme (hello iPad!). The course would culminate in a celebration event, where each school would present about what they had learnt over the year and how their vision and strategy for EdTech had developed.
Then coronavirus hit.
Suddenly schools up and down the land realised that maybe they did need EdTech after all, starting…right now!
In light of this, the DfE repurposed the EdTech Demonstrator Programme as a way of supporting schools with distanced learning. It turns out that my school was one of the successful 22 applicants and now join 20 schools in being part of this revised programme.
If your school is looking for some support at this time, please visit https://edtech-demonstrator.lgfl.net to register your interest!