Got a techy teaching question? Ask the Advocate

Published: May 27th, 2015

In the last issue of Promethean Education News, we heard from Sarah Wright, a Promethean Advocate, who shared her experiences of the journey from NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) to becoming the leader of a pioneering education technology project.

Here, she joins us again to respond to the questions her News Article provoked:

Promethean Educator News: What kind of activities did you do with the children when you first explored the use of ActivExpression with your class and why was this not physically possibly without the technology?

Sarah Wright: Initially, it was very basic things – times table challenges, gauging confidence.  Because I was only just finding my own feet with the kit, I wanted to feel confident in what I was doing!

PEN: How did you first find out about the project funding that was available? What examples did you use in the bid to secure the funding for your education technology project?

SW: I was keen to increase our use of technology but knew it was physically impossible with our budget, I literally scanned Google, asked others, kept up to date with education publications, it’s almost like a treasure hunt, but it’s worth it! The bid was the toughest aspect, I had to show how I thought the equipment would directly impact on children, I was able to support this with the evidence from the ActivExpressions we were already using and used lots of pupil interviews.  Pupil voice can be incredibly powerful as the children are so passionate and articulate about what they do!

PEN: Did you really have no help with the set up of ActivExpression initially?

SW: My only help was Google… until I found Promethean Planet.  With the initial ActivExpressions I had (version 1) I didn’t even have a set of instructions, it was all about learning along with the children!

PEN: You mentioned ‘giving it a go’ as the best advice to get started with technology, but what advice would you give to someone who doesn’t have regular access to technology in school?

SW: Go exploring! Ask to see other local schools, even if it means observing in a different key stage.  Not only does this give you good experience, it starts off a collaboration.  As professionals, we should always be sharing everything, lots of teachers who don’t have technology come and visit me,  we do everything from swapping classes, to running team taught sessions and lots of joint projects with the children, it really does broaden your horizons.

PEN: What’s your favourite/signature tool from inspire or ActivExpression that gives your class the ‘wow effect’?

SW: Ooh, that’s a tough one.  Everything wows with ActivExpression, but I’d say either the word seed tool where answers are instantly displayed, or the real time feedback they get when doing a self-paced question set.  ActivInspire offers endless opportunities to wow, but I particularly love magic ink!

In the back to school edition of Promethean Education News, we’ll be reporting back on the questions you had for Promethean Advocate, Caroline Marshall following her report on using BYOD to overcome budget challenges.