As part of the Leading Transformational Change project, the Schools of Education at both Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam Universities continue to collaborate and contribute to the regional expertise forum (REEF). DeFT will maintain links with the project, and teachers from DeFT, Kate Cosgrove and Jack Todhunter, will be presenting their case studies at the next REEF meeting in November. The work done at both universities has brought into focus a curriculum area that many Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) felt was not adequately covered in previous years (TA 2012). Individual case studies effectively address this by focussing on theoretical and practical aspects of digital technology and finding creative ways to embed this into their courses, thereby creating inspiration for further development.
The University of Sheffield has formed strong links with community learning centres, and as a result of the creative experimental venture into digital film, has opened up new possibilities for the PGCE course in the future (see Case Study 13). The tutors state that as a result of the project, all students have improved their digital capability regardless of their starting points and that they have:
experienced the enjoyment and satisfaction of learning within the task, and the project (…) was overwhelmingly enjoyed and valued by the PGCE trainees (…) The project provided us with the context for demonstrating that effective teaching and learning in English are, and should be, active and creative and not wholly sedentary and cognitive. (Mick Connell and Andrey Rosowsky, PGCE tutors)
The work of the Sheffield Hallam Students has illuminated the practical barriers to digital literacy that student teachers face (see Case Study 11). As a result of this project, Sarah Butler’s students have opened up the debate, and revealed the challenges and delights of using digital practice, as evidenced in the comment below:
Now they are grounded in the problems, in the technological problems of what goes wrong, and whereas before, at the beginning they were more theoretical, thinking about it. Now they are at the stage in their projectory when they are noticing the problems, in their schools, their experiences while they are practising (Sarah Butler, PGCE tutor).
The Primary PGCE students reviewed the case studies and presented their own valuable insights into how digital literacies impact on their practice (see Case Study 12). The students have started a dialogue that will be carried on as resources from the Open textbook are used, re-used and re-mixed.
All web-based project outputs will remain openly available from project website as well as project wiki, blog and Slideshare account. Resources developed in the project will be piloted through the team’s involvement with the Higher Education Academy funded OER internationalisation project (taking place between September-December 2012) where the team is working with international partners to explore issues related to OER re-use and re-purposing across a number of disciplines.
For references for this section see 6.4.3 References / Links to Further Resources