Mobile connectivity means that I am able to work anywhere. For this blog I am in my car, in a layby, on the A467 near Duffryn Park, Blaenau Gwent. The weather is unseasonably warm and I have just had the pleasure of visiting a local primary school to gather all-important feedback.
This has become a common occurrence since taking post as 21st Century Learning strategic lead for the Education Achievement Service (EAS).
I’m visiting as many schools as I can, trying to put names and faces together, offering advice and support around the use of HWB and online safety. But most importantly, trying to find out what schools are doing with the Digital Competence Framework (DCF) by collecting valuable feedback.
How are they familiarising themselves with it? What have they tried so far? What do staff, governors and parents think? What is and isn’t working, and why?
The Digital Pioneer network did an incredible job last year creating the DCF from scratch. Their method for working, short bursts with focused feedback leading to the next iteration of the DCF, is captured by Sonny Singh’s brilliant ‘spiralisation’ diagram. This reflects Prof Donaldson’s recommendation #54 – agile working. The emphasis on using feedback was crucial.
I have been asked several times by schools when they will get the final version of the DCF. The answer? There isn’t a final version, rather improving iterations. September 2016 version 1.0, January 2017 version 1.1 and June 2017 version 1.2. Each update is based on feedback from the previous.
I see lots of imaginative and creative practice in schools. Teachers are excited by an opportunity to be involved with the development of the new curriculum.
When I arrived at the Blaenau Gwent primary school, I was struck by a huge display in the meeting room. It was about Successful Futures, explaining how the school is trying new approaches to the curriculum in order to share findings with the wider pioneer group to perhaps inform the new curriculum.
This included using the DCF. The school had decided that computational thinking presented a great opportunity to further develop their thinking skills’ provision. In one activity, children were writing instructions (‘algorithms’), identifying problems (‘debugging’) and then rewriting their algorithms, eventually creating a set of codes for making a cup of tea. It was great to see children using the feedback loop so effectively.
The next iteration of the DCF will take the same approach. It will be informed by the feedback provided by you, the teachers in Wales.
Which reminds me… Have you given your feedback yet? You can’t miss the link. It’s the great big green button on the DCF website. Give it a click and give your views.
Make sure you contribute to DCF 1.1.
– Andrew Rothwell