Powered by SuperCloud, Powered by LGfL

We are delighted to present our first ever SuperCloud Conference on November 1st.

The Conference has been designed to introduce schools to how cloud technology can be effectively implemented whilst considering key factors that determine successful outcomes. As part of LGfL’s #Pledge2020 commitment to schools, providing faster broadband connections will facilitate the demand of cloud platforms.

A Cloud-based learning environment has the potential to help tackle the teacher workload, invigorate the curriculum and help with the work-life balance without being to much of a monumental change for a school to adopt new ways of thinking, working and learning.

The conference will be held in the heart of the City at etc. venues St. Pauls, where we are running a series of valuable sessions FREE to all LGfL staff.

Our Keynotes include:

  • Microsoft in Education: Accessibility for All
  • Google for Education: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: The Power of Creativity
  • Amazon Web Services: Equipping the Future Workforce
  • ICT with Mr P: Raising Standards with Cloud Technology

More about our Workshops:

Microsoft Teams: Learn about the Digital Hub that reinventing smart ways to collaborate and communicate effectively as Teachers and with Students. Live editing on the same planning document, virtual CPD sessions and Assignement/Homework setting are all part of the unique experience that is Microsoft Teams.

Google Teamwork: Change working practices in schools between staff and revolutionise processes when communicating with external stakeholders such as parents and governors.

Adobe: Take your Content and Ideas to the next level with Creative Cloud and Spark. Energising the Curriculum is crucial in meeting the demand of 21st Century learners through creativity and Tools through Creative Cloud facilitate just that.

Apple: Deploying and Managing iPad in Education. Explore how to automate iPad setup, manage devices over the air, and streamline content distribution.

The day will also be a chance to visit our EdTech Marketplace, where delegates can talk to key Partners and Schools about products and services available through their LGfL subscription.

There is no limit to the places booked per school, but when all the places are taken, the booking portal will close. Please ensure that you use a school/work email when registering.

Tickets are FREE* for you and your staff ( including lunch) if you are an LGfL/TRUSTnet school, so it’s an ideal opportunity to send a small team or make it a whole-school INSET day and attend all together!

SIGN UP HERE!

* Delegates’ schools will be charged (£85 +VAT) if they do not attend and have not given due notice of cancellation.

Ready, Set…GO!

Back to School, and we are already thinking about those new routines that we promised ourselves to keep! The new academic year comes with many exciting new goals that we set ourselves and at the heart of them, good intentions. It can often feel overpowering with the amount of change that occurs in the new academic year but taking the time to reset and ‘all steam ahead’ is at the heart of growth development.

Have I consumed enough coffee for this? (Whilst shaking)

Where are my glasses? (usually on-top of your head)

Where do my glue sticks keep disappearing to? – Sound familiar?

Taking the time, we need to think about ways to save time and tackle the workload can often feel cumbersome with a new academic year underway. However, there are a variety of free tools out there, waiting to make the day-to-day easier and more manageable.

So, what is out there?

As part of your LGfL subscription, you have access to a plethora of learning resources and training opportunities, to help provoke your thought around using technology in the classroom. Scaffold that with a Cloud platform and the learning outcome and possibilities are endless! Whether it is an application for collaborative planning or creating engaging homework tasks in minutes, they’re out there waiting for you!

Getting Started

LGfL host a range of courses available for schools who are looking into adopting cloud technology. Visit our website to find out more about training and services available for your school.

Interested in making Cloud a priority this academic year? Our SuperCloud Leads, Jose Kingsley and Oli Trussell are on hand to support you with School transformation around Microsoft and Google Cloud solutions and can be contacted to support you on your journey.

SuperCloud Event!

We are thrilled to announce our SuperCloud Conference on November 1st, 2019! The day is set to prepare you for your adoption of Cloud technology in your school and provide you with all the latest, tools, resources and training you will need to get started. Our commitment with Pledge 2020 will see Broadband upgrades across the LGfL community to ensure you acquire the best experience when using a cloud platform to enhance your experience. We will be launching our signup for this event in the next couple of weeks, so follow our Twitter Account and sign up to secure your place!

Have a fantastic first week back and we look forward to sharing with you, all the excitement planned for the Academic year ahead!

Using Data to Inform Planning

Our last blog post looked at how online forms can have a huge impact when streamlining processes in your school. They are also great for teachers to use as quizzes. Both Google and Office 365 forms can be configured as self marking quizzes. Not only does this save teachers time in marking, but it’s also instantly provides the student with feedback as to how they did and offers the teacher(s) instant analysis as to how the class(es) performed!

Office 365 example

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G Suite example

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This is really useful for in class starters or exit tickets to help gauge student understanding, or for revision quizzes as it allows students to get instant feedback to support independent learning.

Flipped learning

When I (Oli) was teaching, one of the biggest impacts of using Google Forms was how they supported a ‘flipped’ learning approach to inform lesson planning. Here’s how it looked in practice in a Maths environment (applicable to most subjects):

Step 1: Create or curate videos

Before we even started teaching a topic, we’d create video tutorials of key concepts (or find good ones already made on YouTube). If we were teaching fractions in 4 weeks time, this weeks homework would be to watch some of those videos (this could also be done in lesson time).

Step 2: Students complete a quiz online

After watching the videos, students complete a quick online quiz made in Google or Office 365 Forms. The great thing about this, is that only one teacher needs to create the Form, and each class can all complete the same one! TOP TIP: Add a question that asks for the teacher/class name and you can then filter the results later.

Step 3: Analyse the results before you start planning

The great thing about Forms is that you have charts automatically made for you for each question. This is really useful as you start planning as it lets you know if there are any fundamental topics that the class have struggled with, or likewise anything that the class really understand and that can save you wasting too much lesson time covering it.

Forms also automatically link to spreadsheets which allows you to really drill down and identify if there are any individual students who might need a bit of support. You can also filter a quiz by teacher or class. Having all of this data before you start planning a topic completely transforms your approach and will hopefully have a big impact on student learning outcomes!

Europe Quiz (Responses) - Google Sheets.gif

We’d love to hear how you are using Forms and quizzes in your school! Please feel free to add your story to our Supercloud Stories of Impact at lgfl.link/cloudimpact

Using online forms to streamline data collection

Many schools send out paper forms to parents to collect information or permission. This can be really inefficient as it can rely on the student to be organised enough to be the delivery person and then a member of staff to collate the data and chase any missing responses.

A great feature of cloud platforms such as G Suite and Office 365 is that anyone can easily create an online form to capture any information they want. These forms can be filled out by anyone (even on a smart phone), which makes it really easy to send directly out to parents and you don’t have to rely on students to take a piece of paper home and bring it back in!

The responses are automatically collated for easy analysis, which massively reduces staff administration time, and missing respondents can be easily chased at the click of a button!

Here is an example travel survey made in Google Forms.

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You can create Forms really easily in both platforms right away!

G Suite: Click ‘New’ in your Google Drive or head to forms.google.com

Office 365: Head to forms.office.com

If you need any help getting setup with a cloud platform, please email oli.trussell@lgfl.net (G Suite) or jose.kingsley@lgfl.net (Office 365) today!

Supercloud Stories of Impact

We have launched a new resource to help schools share and discover new ideas as to how cloud is having an impact across LGfL. Our new ‘Supercloud Stories of Impact’ portal brings together ideas from schools in small bite size chunks which you can filter to meet your needs.

Each story is one slide outlining the:

  • problem
  • solution
  • impact

…followed by simple guidance or instructions on how to implement yourself.

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Visit lgfl.link/cloudimpact to access the portal

We would love for staff across London to share the impact that cloud is having in their schools. Please do get involved and help inspire others!

Digital Transformation Audit Tool

There is so much more to successful digital transformation than simply getting in a load of devices. We know that it can be overwhelming even knowing where to start, and what is most important to your school situation when trying to drive change.

We’ve created a simple self reflective audit tool that is designed to help with this process by:

  • Identifying current position of the school regarding digital transformation
  • Identifying important next steps to ensure success
  • Creating a plan with manageable and actionable goals

You can access the tool for free today at lgfl.link/DTFAudit

After you’ve completed the tool you’ll get a report (example below) emailed to you which you can use to plan next steps with specific time frames which is really useful when sharing a vision and for accountability purposes. You’ll also receive a unique link so that you can come back and update your results at any time – a really rewarding way of tracking and showing progress.

If you have any questions, or want to find out more about how we can support your digital transformation, please email Oli (Google expert) or Jose (Microsoft expert) at oli.trussell@lgfl.net and jose.kingsley@lgfl.net

Link to report example (and embedded below)

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vTCyCJ7TYkFfQX3hegEZoOmnnDVm4SmWsMDEatYPVzmpj1BuYMtu3qWtqx-gW0pIr8lSdBgNaMpHvPg/embed” query=”start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000″ width=”auto” height=”300″ /]

Let’s get Digital in 2019

New Year hosts a plethora of personal and professional goals. Some easier than others to commit to. When we look at statistics, 63% of resolutions are broken within the first month. There are varied factors that contribute towards this majority percentage but all is not lost when keeping in mind the end goal.

Here are the top 5 Teacher New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Stay Positive
  2. Revive Classroom routines
  3. Work-life balance
  4. Give more personalised time to Students
  5. Keep on top of marking

Whilst these may strike as everyday practice of most Teachers, how do we ensure we are productive and proficient at keeping on top of them all?

A Cloud-based learning environment has the potential to help tackle the teacher workload, invigorate the curriculum and help with the work-life balance without being to much of a monumental change for a school to adopt new ways of thinking, working and learning.

Be Specific – A vague goal will automatically program failure because you won’t know when you have achieved it.

Specific target – Move all files and folders to an online platform.

In practice and outcome – As a Whole Staff, use your Cloud-based service (Office 365/G-Suite), to collectively move all your important files, folders and stuff into the cloud. It is simple to do, it’s just saving it to a new space that is accessible anywhere, anytime on any device. Once this is complete, all documents and presentations become live. This means that teachers can collaborate on the same planning document at the same time, without being locked out or having multiple versions saved.

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Set Tangible deadlines – When you’re setting a goal, be sure to set a deadline too! It ensures a collective mindset on what it is you are trying to achieve.

Specific target – Record presentations to promote anywhere, anytime learning.

In practice and outcome – Within PowerPoint and Slides, you are now able to record your entire presentation, including any annotations/notes you made during the learning process. Having these saved in a virtual library (back to your online shared folder space) means that students can access the resources they need, if they were to miss a lesson. This virtual library will grow over time and give a transparency to parents about what is being taught in the lesson so it can be used at home before test/exam period for revision. Imagine, an entire years worth of learning, all stored online and at your and the students fingertips.

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Don’t forget the plan! – If you are considering moving to the cloud, it is always best to think first about the goals you want to achieve. A cloud solution needs careful consideration and planning before implementing. Our Cloud Solutions Consultants at LGfL are committed to providing as much help and support to schools who are looking to migrate their school to a cloud-based solution. Email training@lgfl.net for more information on getting started.

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Office 365: Establishing a Vision

As teachers, we all want a world where children grow up to flourish and live healthy, productive and fundamentally happy lives. Making change happen takes a growth mindset and leaders at every level – those who are committed and adept learners.

The Microsoft Education Transformation Framework helps leaders set a direction with four key building blocks to guide leadership and policy development:

  • Vision for change
  • Strategic Planning & Quality Assurance
  • Partnerships & Capacity Building
  • Inclusion & Accessibility

How can we work towards a Cloud-based solution?

Deep and sustainable transformation can only happen with the support of people at every level – Leaders, Teachers, Parents Local Authorities and most importantly, Students! Transformation is not about replacing what works, but to enhance it in a productive and logical process.

What’s transformative leadership and policy all about?

Vision for change

Consider the development of a clear, succinct vision to drive change. By creating a powerful rationale that’s shared by all stakeholders, you can spark the momentum required for long-term impact and adoption. Regular bite-size training and use of the Microsoft Educator Community drives engagement and support for all.

Strategic planning & quality assurance

Think about what it is that your school want to achieve through a cloud-based platform. Start with an effective plan to achieve tangible steps towards that long-term goal. Using Microsoft Teams is a great way to launch engagement with simple collaboration and communication. Giving teachers opportunities to practice and play with the products will provide insight into how they can be embedded purposefully and effectively.

Partnerships & local capacity

Connecting with other teachers, schools and local authorities provides a support network – providing rich insight to how Office 365 can be used effectively on multiple levels. These relationships can help build capacity, whether through digitising administration, tackling the teacher workload and upgrading staff skills.

Inclusion & Accessibility

Making technology more accessible is core to ensuring nobody is left behind. Office 365 is built for all users with its enhance learning tools and immersive reader applications. All of which are built in at no additional cost. Microsoft’s Accessibility site includes guides and examples of how technology can support diverse needs and enhanced outcomes. The immersive Reader and Learning Tools are free with research that reflects improved reading and writing for people of any age or ability.

Take the next step: (Click on the links)

  1. Get Trained on the Microsoft Educator Community
  2. Sign up to a free Office 365 Workshop
  3. Fill in this Form to start building your Education Transformation Framework

Office 365: Content to Creation

Teachers everywhere are working tirelessly to design lessons and activities that reflect 21st century learning skills that promote greater conceptual understanding and outcomes. Whilst understanding how to teach effectively with technology can be challenging, there are many simple to use tools out there, that help develop learning outcomes and enhance the teaching and learning process. Energising the Curriculum is vital, if students are to acquire new knowledge and retain it, so providing them with the right tools, imperative.

Historically, PowerPoint has proved a useful tool for students to produce presentations, showcasing their knowledge and understanding of a concept taught. However, we may well have witnessed their heavy focus around making fonts technicolour, motion paths whizz across the slide and transitions captivating for the audience. Of course, the creative aspect is important for capturing audience attention, it is the content that we want greater focus on.

Introducing Microsoft Sway, the digital storytelling app, designed to put together presentations quickly with built in presentational features, where content is the focus. Start a Sway presentation from scratch or type in a theme/keyword, focussing primarily on the content, allowing the app to make it captivating for it’s audience. It is just like having a corkboard, where you add your content onto and the application puts it together for you. Just like having a virtual assistant, allowing you to focus more on content and less on those presentation features. Not only is it simple to use, but great for collaboration too! Up to 10 students can work on a single Sway at any time, promoting teamwork and providing every student with a voice during the learning process.

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.21st century educators are behind the driving force of using Sway in the classroom to spark creativity in students. The days of writing lengthy essays are long over with this powerful content presentation application. Sway delivers attractive features and brings ideas to life in minutes. A teacher can use Sway interactively to add text, links, picture, video and audio to share content.

Engaging students with technology is core to narrowing the achievement gap in children’s education. Sway is incredible for building fast presentations to any kind of audience and sharing it as an online tool for educators to use as part of their lesson, CPD session or even school newsletters. Here are the top 5 tips to engage students to #SwayEveryday

Here’s a quick tutorial video to help get you started:

Top 3 Tips for using Sway in the Classroom:

  1. Inside and Out Collaboration: Empower the students to share responsibilities of creating their Sway and encourage them to work both in and out of the classroom. This is crucial for anytime, anywhere learning.
  2. Create stories: Digital literacy plays an important role in language development for students, especially Key Stage One. Students have a thirst for reading stories. Educators have the ability to create an interactive story book by embedding text pictures and audio. Sway benefits from text book navigation, giving the reader a fun experience of reading their favourite stories.
  3. New ways to News: Creating a school newsletter using Sway has never been easier and once you have decided on a template, you’ll only need to amend the content each week. Embed picture, videos and text and  transform communication in your school instantly. Parents can easily access the Sway through their devices at home, requiring only a link sent directly to them.