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Raising your school’s profile with technology in education

A great profile impresses parents, attracts the best teachers, and can provide a local community boost. Here's how you can shout about your school.

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A great school profile impresses prospective parents, attracts the best teachers, and helps to give the local community a boost. So taking the time to shout about what makes your school special is, of course, important.

But before you can promote the fantastic work that you, your teachers, and your pupils are doing, you first have to do it. And that means using all the tools at your disposal to raise the standards of your curriculum and attainment.

Here are just some ways edtech can help you to achieve your objectives:

1. Boost Results

The best way to improve your school’s profile is to improve student achievement. And there are lots of ways technology can help you to do this. For example:

Create flexible classrooms with mobile tech

Productivity has been linked to interior design in the workplace; with improvements in comfort and access to suitable spaces having a direct impact on employee performance. And the classroom isn’t any different. In fact, studies show that seat arrangement is a potent means to efficiently manipulate the physical characteristics of the classroom to ensure high performance of both students and teachers

So, flexible classrooms are set to change the world of teaching as we know it; with technology such as laptops, tablets and other mobile devices central to the success of the flexible classroom model.

Facilitate instant assessment with ClassFlow

Instant assessment tools such as ClassFlow let teachers evaluate pupil comprehension at the moment of learning. By immediately identifying and tackling any gaps in knowledge, educators can then tailor their lessons to the actual needs of each and every pupil. Compellingly, ClassFlow can also be used to assess each student’s progress as an individual, rather than marking them competitively. This helps to avoid demotivating lower-achievers, and inspires pupils of all levels to progress.

Introduce flipped learning

With the global flip classrooms market (those companies that are providing technology to enable flipped-learning) predicted to grow by 37% in the next four years, teachers are catching on to the immense potential of this teaching model.

As well as helping to increase engagement, flipped instruction can also lead to better results. In fact, one study has shown that flipped learning can result in an attainment increases of over 12%. And, a small-scale study, undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and Nesta also found that: students were reported to have experienced improved progress and attainment. Although the short nature of the pilot meant that such observations were limited.

2. Use social media and blogs

Modern UK schools are embracing social media to help raise their profiles. For example, take a look at these examples:

Darton College. Twitter and Blog
Tottington Primary School. Twitter
Annanhill Primary School. Blog and Facebook

Some schools are even placing targeted Facebook advertisements to catch the eye of local families with young children.

Of course, where data protection and child safety issues are concerned, extra security measures must be put in place. Find out how to keep your students, and your school, safe online.

3. Raise the profile of your teachers

Today, technology can be used by teachers to build a follower base amongst their peers; boosting reputations and helping them gain recognition as thought-leaders in their field. The more respected your teachers, the better this reflects on your school. There are lots of tools teachers can use to give their profiles a boost. For example, blogs and Twitter are a great way to share opinions and educational insights.

The rise in popularity of teacher-authored content and platforms such as ClassFlow Marketplace have also opened up new ways for teachers to boost their profiles and make the output of their years of expertise widely available to other educators. Find out more about teacher-authored content.

4. Build relationships

Global online collaboration is predicted to be one of the most significant trends in educational technology, with digital tools being used to support interactions around curricular objectives and promote intercultural understanding.

By engaging external speakers, a school can boost its profile and add relevance to lessons (not to mention engaging students). There are programmes that can help you to do this at a departmental level; for example, the Royal Geographical Society runs an ambassadors scheme specifically for the purpose of promoting geography. As well as physically bringing experts into the classroom, technology such as video conferencing and live chat can be used to talk to these external experts.

By connecting with other educators and institutions around the world, schools can also build learning networks and raise their profile at a national or even global level.

5. Enter competitions and other events

Competitions are a great way to promote your school – particularly if you win! There are many tech-focused competitions your pupils can take part in throughout the year. For example, the annual PA Consulting Raspberry Pi Competition always receives a great deal of media coverage. Find out more about this years winners.

Helping to improve facilities in your school (which in turn can help to win over parents and reporting bodies) there are also prizes to be won. For example, BT is currently offering a first prize worth 10,000 in its annual Tech Factor competition, which challenges schools to show how they would use technology to boost tech literacy skills.

In April this year, the Promethean Grant also gave schools the chance to upgrade their edtech and win one of 30, free ActivPanels. The trick was to use technology creatively in any application.

6. Make it easy for parents

Millennial parents have different expectations about methods of communication. And, here again, technology can be used to help your school stand out from the crowd. While the opportunity for face-to-face meetings will always be necessary, consider also using behavioural apps, online forms, update apps, offering video conferencing for parental meetings, and any other tech that makes the job of being a parent that little bit easier.

How are you using technology to boost your school’s profile? Tell us on Twitter!