You’ve asked more questions, here are the answers!
What should teachers and practitioners be doing now? Should we use the DCF with the existing curriculum?
As you begin to familiarise yourself with the DCF, use the Framework to help you look for natural opportunities to use it in your current teaching across the curriculum. The ideas included in the DCF will help you do this. Consider what you are currently doing and how the DCF can support and enhance that.
The work you do now to incorporate the DCF into your current teaching will help you use it in learning and teaching within Areas of Learning and Experience in the future, as the new Curriculum for Wales is made available.
Some say this is just V1 of the DCF. Do you expect it to change for the next academic year?
There may be refinements to the DCF over time, as schools, other settings, teachers/practitioners and wider stakeholders give feedback on it.
However these changes are unlikely to be substantial, and will more likely be an ‘evolution’, providing enhancements which take account of issues identified by users and of changing technologies.
In particular, the task ideas within the DCF are likely to change and increase in number over time as technology, expertise and digital practice develop. Further task ideas will be added to the DCF this month with more planned for the Summer term.
When will the new skills audit tool be available? What will it do?
Following feedback from teachers and other stakeholders, the skills audit tool will be incorporated into the Hwb self-assessment tool. Pioneers and Welsh Government are developing it to meet user needs identified from discussions and feedback from teachers and practitioners. New functionality will be added in the Spring term. The tool will enable:
- teachers to assess their skills and confidence in teaching elements of the DCF
- teachers to identify their development needs
- schools/settings to inform their planning
As functionality is enhanced, the tool will enable teachers to track their development over time and plan their development based on development needs identified.
What are the digital pioneers doing now?
The digital pioneers are working closely with consortia to act as ambassadors for the DCF and help the wider network of schools to get to grips with it.
They are also working to:
- develop and add additional task ideas to support teaching of the DCF
- consider how the DCF will embed into the new curriculum
- develop tools to support teachers and schools,
- develop a framework to support professional learning by September 2017.
Is there a list of digital pioneers I can call on to help me with the DCF?
There is a list of Pioneer Schools available, including Digital Pioneer Schools.
In the first instance however, contact your Regional Consortium for advice on which school is best placed to help you.
Are there task ideas to help me with DCF right across the framework?
A number of task ideas are already included within the DCF. Others will be added this month and more again next term. They will be refreshed as an ongoing process, to ensure the tasks remain relevant.
Are there any other tools being developed to assist with the DCF?
Pioneers have developed a Curriculum Mapping Tool which schools can use to cross-reference elements of the DCF with current activities in subjects and Years. This will highlight gaps between current teaching and DCF requirements.
The tool will be made available this month.
What should leaders be doing now?
Leaders should be looking to encourage and support teachers and practitioners to identify opportunities to use the DCF in their teaching.. In addition, as teachers/practitioners become familiar with the DCF, they should begin to look to understand their confidence and competence in order to plan for ongoing development. The tools being developed will assist with this.
As teachers start to familiarise themselves with the DCF and begin to incorporate it into practice, leaders should begin to develop a vision for how the DCF will be used as the new curriculum develops.
What digital tools and resources are available to support practitioners in applying the DCF?
The Hwb platform provides all maintained schools in Wales with access to a range of centrally-funded digital tools and resources that can support the application of the DCF.
Teachers and practitioners are able to collaborate and share their own learning materials through the Hwb community area.
Hwb offers the following tools:
- Networks (offering teachers closed, professional online collaboration spaces to support and facilitate discussion and sharing of good practice) Playlists (a content curation tool that allow teachers and learners to sequence content from a range of web sources, along with their own materials and quiz questions into a single resource that can be shared with other users)
- Assignments (enable teachers to create and share on-line assignments with learners, and to offer instant feedback. The Mark book feature associated with assignments lets teachers track learner attainment live as they undertake the assignment. Teachers also receive data on both individual, group and class attainment) Single-sign-on to Office 365
- A range of nationally licensed third party educational tools which currently include Encyclopaedia Britannica and Just2easy.
All Hwb users are provided with access to Microsoft Office 365 (which includes Outlook e-mail, non-learner Video Conferencing facilities, OneNote Class Notebook Creator and streaming of core office apps including Word, Excel and PowerPoint).
Office 365 allows users:
- to access files and programs from anywhere
- to work with what they know – it’s Office, only in the cloud
- to always have the latest version for everyone – a unified, consistent toolset across all school settings in Wales
- Robust security and reliability – Hwb has enhanced security options for dealing with sensitive information
- To co-create and collaborate with teachers across Wales – don’t reinvent the wheel alone
- To work across all devices via browsers or device specific apps
- To store files safely – without worrying about the loss/security of USB drives
- To prepare pupils with world class, future-proof, industry standard software
To access a Help and Support site, support team and huge online Microsoft educator community.
Further FAQs on the Digital Competence Framework are available on Learning Wales.