FEATURE Northampton High School

Edtech - technology and

Henry Rickman Deputy Head Academic at

Northampton High School


As in the song, we might say that collaboration and education go together like a horse and carriage. However, while the latter pair are more or less entrenched in an analogue past, collaborative learning has found a new lease of life through the power of technology, or EdTech. Perhaps a better analogy now would be a battery and an electric car. A little over 18 months ago we launched the Digacy programme

at Northampton High. Digacy stands for Digital Literacy but aims to go further, with the vision of bringing all things technological together under one banner, to help students develop future skills and to bring transformative approaches to teaching and learning. Little did we know that COVID-19 would push technology even further to the forefront of our thinking, giving us an unprecedented testbed for cloud-computing platforms across the school. Using technology to support learning helps not just to deliver

content in more adventurous and supportive formats, but, more importantly, allows students and teachers to connect with each other

within and beyond the confi nes of the conventional classroom. Our school one-to-one device policy enables teachers to break down the traditional home/school barriers, by sharing content before the lesson begins and allowing students to preload with key information. It also encourages students to engage in shared working and they benefi t from detailed feedback dialogue, which encourages continual improvement in skills and understanding. The Digacy programme works from core

principles, including online safety, computational thinking and the creation of content, to ensure that pupils have the adaptability they will need in the future. Digital tools like Mentimeter, Padlet, Kahoot, Flipgrid, Quizlet, Newsela, Pobble and ReadT eory are amongst the many available that help teachers to support pupils individually, inspire curiosity and create inquisitive learners. All students curate their achievements online via a self-made website which we call the 360-degree Me ePortfolio. T is gives them the skills to manage their digital footprints positively, with an eye on their future employability. As a backbone to this, our shared platforms allow us to off er seamless learning approaches, meaning all pupils have access to the materials they need, along with their teachers’ expert advice. As a result, both in lockdown and while just

some students have been working from home, we have been able to prioritise live lessons via video to ensure as smooth a connection as possible. Beyond Northampton High School itself, we are



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