Agony aunts

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activity to promote sharing of practice

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Agony aunts

  1. 1. This leaflet has been produced for the Digital Futures for Teacher Education project, partof UK Open Educational Resources Programme Phase Three. This project seeks to creatematerials (OERs) for trainee teachers and to develop guidance on digital literacy practicein teaching and learning in the school sector. For most up-to-date information about theproject, please refer to the DeFT project blogThis activity was devised by a group of Sheffield Hallam PGCE Students as a part of theirpresentation on exploring digital literacy in professional practice.Agony Aunts workshopAims and objectives:to explore and resolve problems related to using digital technologies in an educationalsettingActivity:A panel of three students arrange themselves in front of an audience of students to invitequestions, and to share their worst nightmare scenarios in relation to using digitaltechnologies in schools. These questions bring up issues about problems with hardware andsoftware, access to the internet, accessibility issues and general lack of equipment.Intended outcomes:to encourage discussion and sharing of practice in a supportive environmentcommentWhen this activitiy was carried out by the Sheffield Hallam students, some of the nightmarescenarios included problems with equipment such as basing a lesson on a DVD orPowerPoint presentation only to discover that the soundtrack on the DVD won’t play orthere is no computer in the classroom. Other questions touched upon engaging pupils withadditional learning difficulties with technology. The "agony aunts" attempted to offersolutions to these problems by stressing preparation and always having a plan B; they alsoemphasised the importance of reaching out to support personnel within the school. Mostimportantly, they recommended turning technical glitches into a learning opportunity, forinstance by pretending that the sound track on the film has been deliberately deleted sothat pupils can invent their own. Overall, the main benefit of the activity was that itencouraged sharing of real-life dilemmas experienced by students on placement and that itallowed for sharing of practice in a supportive environment. This activity could easily beadapted into an online format, where the question and answer session could take place on awiki or via Twitter chat.This content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK:England & Wales http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/ 1

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