Frog conference GUEST BLOG: Matthew Hewitt, Deputy Head, Noadswood School

On Thursday 23 June at the London conference, Matthew Hewitt, Deputy Head at Noadswood school will host a workshop on using technology to broaden access to learning. Here’s a snapshot of his presentation.

The use of Frog at Noadswood is developing on several fronts. We try to embed the use of Frog as much as possible in everyone’s  work, including governors, parents and of course the teachers and pupils. We aim to broaden access to everything and make the school more effective and efficient.

The use of Frog in the school has grown exponentially. We stimulated this by removing other ways of doing things. On a daily basis the school bulletins and cover lists go into Frog. We also put online meeting agendas and minutes for governors and middle leaders, the exam timetable, options information, information about organisations of trips – anything that needs to be made accessible widely or to small groups.

We use Frog for organising all sorts of things beyond the curriculum using forms. Other systems that we use such as Blue Sky for performance management and email are all accessed through Frog.

For the curriculum, good use is being made of subject department sites. These are both an online repository and a good sign-post to other sites. We are re-building these to take advantage of the mobile templates, so that students can use Frog on their phones.

Making it ‘cool’ to attend after school

Having Frog so easily usable, with everyone so used to going online through Frog, is leading to some powerful changes in teaching and learning. For example, the science department is doing revision sessions between 17:00 and 18:00, with a live stream and Google hangout discussions. We see from the logon stats that quite a few pupils who don’t feel it is ‘cool’ to attend an after school revision session in person, are taking part in these revision sessions. This also fits better with the students work cycles – they are tired at the end of school, but much fresher after a couple of hours at home.

Teachers are also creating video clips to provide an archive of revision activities. From the stats we know these are being accessed by 150 pupils a night. These things have taken time to set up, but the benefits are high with considerable extension of home learning. This is also having an impact  on the teaching in some departments. The technology department now have ‘Tech TV’ where they record lessons. This started as a professional development tool but now works as an archive for pupils to go over what they’ve been taught in lesson 

Sharing best practice

Our challenge now is to roll-out the really effective practice that is happening in different departments to the other departments. The feedback from the pupils on the effectiveness of these approaches is brilliant. And the analytics on the use of Frog give a clear message that this works for the pupils and extends learning. This is all about change management and understanding what will get teachers to work more collaboratively and to share what they are individually doing to create courses and resources for the new GCSEs.

To hear more from Matthew, book your place at the London conference.

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