I was fortunate enough today to be able to present to a number of Education support teachers from a number of schools at the Christian Education National (CEN) Conference. (In addition to my seminar for English teachers about using technology.)
I’ve discussed in other blog posts here, and here about our use of Evernote in Education support, so I won’t go into that again. However I will share some details about the process we took to find the solution. I’d encourage all Education support teachers to consider carefully this process when implementing any support strategies, but particularly when those strategies have a base in technology.
1. Assess the Need
It is important to look very closely at the needs of the student. What does this solution need to achieve? This (and step 2) are probably the most critical steps. If they aren’t given proper consideration, the likelihood of making a wise choice in the best interests of the students is diminished.
2. Investigate Specific Requirements
The specific requirements are generally unique to your particular environment. For example, in this case the parents wanted to have easy access to the students work, in order to assist them. I’d recommend at least getting the parents involved at this point in time.
3. Find a solution (this may, or may not be technology related)
This is the fun part! You get to have a look around, and discover a solution that will work for your student. Get your IT crew involved, particularly as they are likely to have a better handle on current technology than you might. Also, you’re going to need their support in the long run, so get them involved early so they also have ownership of the project.
4. Implement the Solution
This will involve testing, training (staff, parents, students, aides), and the rollout of your solution. Don’t rush this step! It is important to do it once, and do it right.
5. Support the Implementation
Once the students have the solution, it is imperative that you provide ongoing training and support. Both to students involved, and their teachers. I’d suggest that projects like this might need priority support given by your IT tech crew – so discuss expectations around support with them early in the piece.
The most important part of any plan is the revision of the plan. Keep going back and visiting classes. Watch what the students are doing and how they are using the solution. You might find an unidentified need for more training. Or you might even find they have adapted and are using the solution in a way that you had never considered.
I really enjoyed my time speaking to Education support teachers today, and hope you’ve taken something away from our time together.