The new Heads Up series hosted by ISC Research kicks off with an insightful discussion about shifts in teaching and learning practices at international schools. Research Director Sam Fraser talks to Dr Kristen Weatherby, a researcher and consultant in education technology and teacher policy, about the results released in the new Teaching and Learning in International Schools Report just published by ISC Research. The recording of the discussion is available as a video on the ISC Research YouTube channel and as a podcast on most common applications.
The ed in edtech
“What made me happy in the research results was that respondents were asked what the most likely catalysts for change in teaching and learning over the last few years had been,” Kristen says to Sam during the podcast. “Very few said it was because they purchased a new piece of technology which made it clear that teaching and learning decisions were not based on the tech, but about the teaching and learning. So schools that responded to this survey are really making teaching and learning decisions because of the teaching and learning and not about the tech and that is very encouraging. That represented a shift in thinking. It’s about using tech as a tool, but not because of it.” This is an important product development message for education suppliers.
Takeaway messages on school development
During the podcast, Kristen explains her thinking behind other results that she considers are positive messages from the report, giving school leaders, educators, and those suppliers supporting teaching and learning reasons why the research offers such value for school development and improvement.
“Scaling education technology needs pockets of innovation within every school; innovative teachers are really quite important,” she said. “I loved hearing about this in the report. Most of the changes that are happening are because of teachers who have come back from professional development, or are new to a school and are sharing their learning or experience. It was really refreshing to hear.”
The shift towards blended learning
During the podcast, Sam and Kristen discuss how international schools are shifting towards a more blended learning approach, the skill development within the use of education technology and what that needs to incorporate, the value of industry collaborations, and more. Kristen also sends an important message to teacher training institutions: “Will NQTs be more desirable in the future because of their current understanding of tech and new pedagogies? Much is dependent on the system of initial teacher training and if new pedagogies are included. It’s really tough to reform teacher training but universities need to be aware of potential change.”
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