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At the end of a really busy term at the Academy, we decided that it would be a great time to relaunch the use of technology in the classroom and named it EdTech Week. With the intention of ‘helping teachers to be more effective and efficient and helping students to become more engaged and enthusiastic’, the week showcased a whole host of educational tools for staff and students to use.

Every morning started at 7.45 with breakfast showcase sessions on a range of apps from the G-Suite, Google’s platform for education, where staff presented how they were using technology that was saving time and making the job easier and more fun. On Monday we looked at an introduction to the G-Suite, Tuesday’s was about creating comment banks to personalise feedback, Wednesday saw an exciting introduction to Google’s newest venture, Google Expeditions, which allows students to go on virtual tours to all sorts of places. Thursday was the turn of the students – they showed staff how they were using video and other modern technology to learn and nurture talent, whilst Friday was a free forum where staff brought their issues/ideas and the EdTech team looked at potential solutions.

In the afternoons, Mr Fitzpatrick, Mr Hughes, Mr Moore and Mr Whitaker led more in-depth training sessions on Google Classroom, using collaborative tools such as Google Docs and Hangouts, and an introduction to the Education Training Center (I know, American spelling!). 

All the while, there were assemblies and work with the Senior Students, particularly Amy Penny, to launch Google Gurus, our student-led technology geniuses who will be trained on the G-Suite and will work in classrooms to improve learning, and to discuss our big competition. Students were encouraged to create a one-minute video with the title ‘How do I use technology to learn?’ The prize? An ASUS Chromebook, kindly donated by Michael Holland at IDNS! 13 students entered and the winner, Angel Gabbott, Y9, was awarded the Chromebook in the Achievement Assembly at the end of the week. This was complemented by a form Big Question which looked at 

How can we ensure we use the internet safely and appropriately? and How can we be responsible digital (online) citizens?

Well done to all the form entries and the winner – SBR – who created their Digital Charter on a Google Doc collaboratively in different colours! A close second was MHO who started to create their own website with special mention to Hasnain Ahmed who worked hard on this.

Mr Motteram was the winner of the staff prize, a £30 Amazon voucher kindly donated by Media Village. He won for the integration of Google Classroom into his Business Studies classes. He was closely followed by Mr Croniken, who attended every breakfast and has gone away really excited about building an English department Google Site!

Overall, it was a brilliant week to kickstart the technology revolution. Watch this space for what is coming next…!

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