Teachers at the Birmingham Frog Conference told us that a high priority in their schools is teachers collaborating to structure lessons online and assemble resources.
The need to support home learning better is leading to teachers developing sites that support class lessons too. Rugby High School even involved the pupils in doing this!
To give you a flavour of what you will hear at the conference, this is Sean Quinn’s description of what is happening in Rugby High School.
Developing use of Frog at Rugby High School.
The starting point for the use of Frog at Rugby High School was to establish it as a safe area to which the teachers can post learning resources. Though some teachers were initially worried and sceptical they soon realised how intuitive and easy to use Frog is. This got rid of the fear of change and failure; many of those who were worried are now doing transformational things with Frog.
The students have been a great help. The teachers have realised that they do not always need to be in charge of making sites and that they can get students to do it for them. Teachers tend to nominate students to create sites for them and the students are very quick, it only takes a lunchtime to create a site for a topic and to get resources into it. We are developing co-construction of the curriculum.
This enabled Rugby High School to reduce department budgets
This has led to a saving of 20% in printing costs, by reducing printer credits for staff and students as they can now see resources through FROG. This enabled us to reduce department budgets, which we had to do anyway because of national budget cuts. We scan a lot of documents now and get them on Frog including assessment and notices. Teachers putting up answers on Frog which enables the pupils to self-assess their answers, and if they have not grasped the problem properly to work backwards from the answer to see how they should have gone about it.
Homework has improved as a result of all homework on FROG, because students now all have clear instructions and for complex homework a writing frame or a model example could be used. Lots of resources came from FrogStore which has been really helpful. Students will also logon at home to prepare for the next lesson. There is also a good impact on cover lessons which have become much higher quality lessons with much less wasted time. The SLT can supervise these lessons and save the cover-teacher costs too.
Alongside implementing Frog we started piloting a BYOD approach with year 7. BYOD was so successful in this pilot that it has accelerated rapidly in the school, so that it is now whole-school. We have a multi-platform approach which means that all pupils can afford this, even if they just have a £40 tablet. This has also led to savings as we do not need to invest in generic school computers and we have not refreshed a classroom of 30 computers. Launching BYOD has allowed us to release the hardware refresh budget and divert it to other areas.
We now have an aim to be a paperless school by using FROG. We have drastically reduced printing costs and we now have a printer credit system in place due to all stakeholders needing to print less, due to FROG and BYOD. Many students have stopped printing things as they can access them digitally.
Our next steps are to get a parent portal in place and to make more use of forums for student voice.