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Selecting a School Communication / Teaching & Learning Platform

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By Joanna Smith

Overview

The events surrounding Covid-19 have highlighted the absolute necessity for schools to be prepared to support the continuity of teaching and learning. All schools are now required to have a communication and learning platform in place to respond in the event of a partial or full school closure in the future. What does this mean for your school?

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Adoption of a whole school platform

By the end of 2020, all schools must have adopted a whole school communication and learning platform. It must have been GDPR compliant and approved by the school’s patron/Board of Management.

Role of the whole school platform

The platform should facilitate:
• Communication between staff, parents and students
• Remote and in-school learning to include assigning, feedback and assessment of work and facilitation of live or recorded lessons.

Professional Development to support platform adoption and remote learning

Whole-school up-skilling on usage of the chosen communication/teaching and learning platform must be in place in all schools to include staff professional development training and support for teachers, parents and students.

Planning to support remote learning

Schools are expected to plan for remote learning, taking a whole school approach to adoption of the most appropriate remote learning model for the school with ongoing effective communication with parents and students built into the school’s plan.
• A review of previous remote learning should be conducted and remote learning plans should be aligned to the school’s digital learning plan, taking into account access to devices, broadband provision and managing school timetabling
• Existing school policies should be reviewed and updated to take account of remote learning
• A blended learning model should be used in all plans to facilitate remote learning, to include multiple means of engagement and response and provision for student choice and flexibility in their learning
• Supports/strategies should be put in place for disadvantaged or SEN students, and parents should be supported to assist students learning at home.

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