The Teacher Trainee LearningWheel
…was commissioned and ‘Captained’ by Kelly Davey Nicklin who is a teacher of Education agreed to write a blog about her experience…
Captain of the Wheel
‘Captaining’ a LearningWheel was a very useful experience – it was great to collaborate with other teacher educators across the country (and indeed the world!) about a really important issue for us at the moment in teacher education (as identified in the recent FELTAG report): the effective use of digital learning resources in further education. We got our PGCE PCET trainees involved in the creation of the LearningWheel too – in one of our lectures the trainees worked in groups to identify the types of digital learning resources they had been using whilst on placements and these ideas were then added to our LearningWheel.
Once the LearningWheel had been published I quickly realised that this would make an excellent resource for our trainees to use to support their Professional Development Profile. All trainees on the PGCE PCET course at BCU are assessed in line with the Education and Training Foundation’s 20 Professional Standards. Standard 15* makes explicit reference to the use of technology in teaching and learning and several of my trainees were struggling to be creative in their use of technology and digital learning resources. Therefore, I printed a copy of the Learning Wheel for each trainee (as well as providing a link to the digital copy) and we dedicated time in a lecture to looking at the LearningWheel and annotating it to identify.
Types of digital resources the trainees…
- had already used
- were familiar with but had not used to support
- had never encountered before
All trainees identified a few digital resources that they would then try out over the next few weeks whilst on placement – they selected at least one resource that they were already familiar with but had not used to support teaching and learning and they also selected at least one that was totally new to them.
As a result of using the Learning Wheel our trainees were able to become more creative practitioners in using digital learning resources to support teaching and learning. We also found that the grades that trainees were achieving for Professional Standard 15* improved and the LearningWheel also provided some great evidence for the trainees’ Professional Development Profiles.
* ETF Professional Standard 15) Promote the benefits of technology and support learners in its use
Student 1 experience
Two of Kelly’s students also agreed to write about there experiences too…
PGCE PCET Trainee
Birmingham City University
I am a trainee teacher who has dyslexia and I find the LearningWheel a useful resource to support my teaching practice because it is very visual. I also struggle with my memory and so having the LearningWheel as a reference tool was very helpful during my teacher training. Recently I have introduced and used ‘Trello’ in some of my classes – an idea I took from a LearningWheel based on using digital resources in further education. The layout of ‘Trello’ helps my autistic learners with structure and it supports my whole class in collaborating with each other. I also used Padlet and Kahoot as a result of using the LearningWheel.
During my teaching practice I was worried about how I could make effective use of technology within my teaching practice. We are assessed on our PGCE PCET course at Birmingham City.
University based on the Education and Training Foundation’s Professional Standards and Standard 15 makes specific reference to technology. I found that colleagues around me (and myself) tended to take technology for granted and I also found that I was risk averse and tended to stick with technology that I was familiar with. This is why the Learning Wheel was useful to me – it introduced me to different types of digital learning resources to support both myself and my learners.
Student 2 experience
PGCE PCET Trainee
Birmingham City University
From our Learning Wheel I decided to try using Padlet and Kahoot. I had been working on revision lessons with my GCSE Media class and needed a way for us to revise topics without it being dull.
Padlet was a wonderful tool and worked well as a plenary activity where learners could write responses to questions I had posed to them in a starting box. Here they could create their own text box and evaluate their knowledge so far and which topics they still wished to cover further. Padlet was also useful in livening up this activity as the learners could see each other’s live responses appearing on the board.
Kahoot was a useful quiz tool, where I could input around 20 questions about a topic and allow them to revise through playing it, also live, with results appearing after each question round on the board. This encouraged competition and got the learners engaged in what was essentially ‘a test’! Afterwards I could then download all the statistics from the quiz, with individual results, which aided me in future planning. What I learned from incorporating these learning technologies into my lessons is that students do appreciate breaks from the norm, and I believe that if you can get students to learn without them realising it, then that is a great thing. It was the LearningWheel that inspired me to try out these digital resources with my learners for the first time.
Thank you Kelly and Laura May for writing about your LearningWheel experience. Its with thanks to you, your students and other teacher training specialist collaborators within the LW community that we have yet another practical guide to using a range of digital resources in Teacher Trainee subject area.