Upgrading edtech and upskilling digital literacy at Dens Road Primary

Published: December 14th, 2022

Situated in the city of Dundee, Dens Road Primary and Nursery School is underpinned by its forward-thinking attitude to enhance student engagement and interaction. So when the school was looking to upgrade its learning solutions, it seized the opportunity to elevate and innovate its approach to digital literacy.

The school had long used Promethean interactive whiteboards with ActivInspire software, but over time the technology needed replacing, so it decided to upgrade to the Promethean ActivPanel. The move made it evident that Promethean’s ActivPanel was much more than a display device. The intelligent display had greater functionality to support teaching and learning and with that, Dens Road recognised the need for training to make the most of the advanced technology.

Looking to maximise the new resources available with the ActivPanel, Dens Road implemented Promethean’s Train the Trainer programme. Graeme Robertson, Dens Road’s digital leader, successfully completed the training to become a Certified Promethean Trainer and is now rolling out a series of initiatives to upskill the teaching team and cascade best practices throughout the school.

Optimising the ActivPanel with Train the Trainer

Through the Train the Trainer programme, Graeme was able to learn more about all aspects of the ActivPanel, particularly the interactive lesson delivery software ActivInspire, which is supplied as standard.

“The training taught me many things about what ActivInspire allows you to do, including how to convert existing PowerPoint files or PDF documents into flipcharts, and then annotate over the top of the lesson content using the panel’s digital tools,” said Graeme. “Small things like that were eye-opening moments in the training, showing us how simple it could be to make full use of the technology, which impacts on learning and teaching.”

While some teachers may have been familiar with ActivInspire from earlier interactive whiteboards, the training has been key to unlocking the potential of cloud-based ClassFlow software, too. ClassFlow is now an integral part of teaching at the school. “Every learner can be on ClassFlow at the same time with an access code and put up responses to questions in real time—it’s fantastic,” said Graeme. “From sharing learning intentions or a particular problem to classroom feedback, it’s extremely versatile.”

The training programme also equipped Graeme with the knowledge and skills to personalise teaching and learning with the ActivPanel. “Depending on what you’re doing, learning can be very free form, but the ActivPanel comes into everything and anything we do,” he said. “It’s the simplest things that can make a big difference to teaching functionality and make an impact.”

Cascading best practices 

Dens Road Primary understands the importance of all teachers feeling comfortable and confident using the technology to positively transform teaching and learning. In his role as digital leader, Graeme helps teachers with their digital journey by providing drop-in sessions, delivering practical training, and offering flexible on-hand support where any queries can easily be resolved.

Complementing Dens Road’s in-house programme is a suite of free support for teachers direct from Promethean. From face-to-face training to webinars and online CPD with Learn Promethean, the ongoing and accessible assistance played a significant role in the school choosing to partner with Promethean.

Aligning technology with open-plan teaching 

At the same time that Graeme upgraded to the ActivPanel and established internal training, he also piloted a new approach to the ICT suite, which saw a shift from the traditional setup to a more flexible and collaborative space. 

With student engagement as the focal point, Dens Road endeavoured to create a space that inspires creativity through digital learning and wider STEM subjects. Alongside the improved skills and knowledge of the ActivPanel, the classroom has been transformed into an open-plan learning space that is breaking boundaries for greater student collaboration.

Going forward, Dens Road is exploring how to create more learning spaces that deliver on both engagement and digital functionality within the school. “The connectivity of the ActivPanel has helped us establish a space where technology in teaching can thrive, supporting personalised learning to meet students’ individual needs,” explained Graeme.

From implementing additional digital devices to bringing in standing tables and high-level benches, this is only the start for Dens Road in creating innovative learning spaces that harness the potential of education technology. And the ActivPanel is at the heart of this strategy.