Important Covid-19 Update, Support & Guidance

Hello,

We're writing in light of the rapidly developing situation around the Coronavirus COVID-19 with some news and advice concerning Evidence for Learning and Insights for Learning.

The health and well-being of our customers, staff, families and communities is our top priority and so we are following Government guidance and the World Health Organisation’s advice on Coronavirus (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public) in order to do everything we can to help stop the spread of the virus. We have cancelled and postponed until further notice all EfL events and any school visits, and we are making it possible and encouraging our staff to work remotely.

We'd also like to reassure you that we have been monitoring this situation closely to ensure we can meet the ongoing needs of the schools that use and depend on Evidence for Learning and Insights for Learning.

We are aware that this is becoming an increasingly serious challenge for all schools, especially those that support especially vulnerable children and young people, so we want to take the opportunity to offer our support...

We know that the situation remains uncertain, however there now seems to be a real and growing risk that schools may be forced to close or at least some parents may choose to or need to self isolate their child at home outside of school. As you're devising contingency plans on how you can continue to support learners and do all you can to maintain their learning in these scenarios, we'd like to offer some ways in which EfL may be able to help you. These are ideas that we've picked up from talking with schools around the country:

Using the Parent Engagement tools in EfL:

- Create personalised modelling videos (as evidence) for each learner's parents/cares so they can maintain the same teaching and support approach outside of school.

As Prof. Barry Carpenter says "Share the script...". This could be a great opportunity to engage and empower parents as active partners in their child's learning and development. Rather than directing them to generic websites or giving them generic teaching/learning resources, you can create completely personalised teaching videos that model the desired approaches and essential strategies that you have spent so long developing and tailoring for their child. You can find a great example of this approach in the following short case study video filmed at Palmerston School in Liverpool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bzPWUtmSAs. It shows how they use EfL to record and annotate short ‘training’ videos for parents that model good literacy skills, such as how to decode phonics and good questioning.  

- Similarly, you can extend the above approach to create whole learning activities that parents/carers can do at home

Teachers and TAs can record a bank of personalised videos for each learner or group videos that are re-used to create a piece of evidence for each learner, that model learning activities that parents/carers can try at home. These can be uploaded as evidence and using tags, frameworks and comments, you can annotate the videos to describe the learning activity and desired outcomes pointing out key aspects and things to look out for during the activity. Some schools use one of the three video slots in the piece of evidence to explain the activity in detail to the parent/carer, with the other 2 slots being used to model the activity. The personalised nature of these videos make them excellent and unparalleled teaching and support resources for parents. In many cases, when the learner watches the video at home, it also provides a motivation for them to want to do the activities at home. 

As preparation, you can record a number of videos now and have them ready to share as annotated evidence at the appropriate time. A great bonus of this approach is that the videos ought to be very useful whether or not the learner is forced to self-isolate or school closes.

- Teaching staff working from home with access to an iPad and/or EfL will be able to continue to make Learning activity videos and share them with the relevant parent/carers.

For example, you could create a piece of evidence that has instructions or ideas on activities that parents/carers could do at home. This piece of evidence could refer to dates of selected earlier evidence that has been shared already with parents, that includes useful activities/videos that model various learning activities. This new piece of evidence could be created and shared with parents on a device (iPad) or it could be created and shared with parents using a desktop computer/laptop through the Evidence Web Console. (If you have not set up your Web Console, we can help.)

- Parent/carers can 'send in' annotated videos and photos of the learner - capturing the learning throughout their time outside school

If appropriate, this could be a great way to encourage parents/carers to embrace the language and understanding behind the new Engagement Model. Parents could collect and share with school, evidence from their exploration of how their child engages in different settings and contexts. Teachers can then tag, annotate and link this evidence to PLG and any framework outcomes and/or indicators. Parent/carer collected videos from home can provide valuable evidence to support a judgement that a learner is becoming secure and able to generalise skills and knowledge - especially if you've given them support and guidance such as some of the ideas listed earlier. 

- Teaching staff working from home or school with access to an iPad can comment on any videos/photos submitted by parents, keeping that dialogue open.

A great way to support and encourage learning without actually being present.

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Short Case Study Videos - a potential source of ideas...

We have a number of short video case studies that look at how different schools have worked with parents and carers using EfL.

You can find and watch these here: https://www.evidenceforlearning.net/eflinaction/

Webinars to help set up Parent Engagement tools & Evidence Web Console

If you need any help with the Parent Engagement tools, the Web Console or any other features in EfL or Insights, we can arrange webinars with you. During the webinar we can login to your systems and help you to setup and get started. If you would like to arrange a webinar please either email contact form on our website (https://www.evidenceforlearning.net/contact-us/) and we will be in touch with our availability.

If in the coming weeks you do end up working from home, then you should still be able to access webinars with us if you need us.

Step-by-step Guides 

There are guides on the Parent Engagement tools including step by step-by-step guides on how to set it up and share evidence in our online Resource Centre:

https://resources.evidenceforlearning.net/category/142-8-parent-engagement

There are help articles on setting up the Evidence Web Console here:

https://resources.evidenceforlearning.net/category/199-setup-your-web-evidence-console

You can also find guides, videos and help articles on all features in EfL in the Resource Centre:

https://resources.evidenceforlearning.net

School-produced Parent Portal resources/presentations

The following Google folder contains resources/letters templates to parents that schools have created and have shared with us. The folder also contains a document that we (EfL) have produced which contains suggested wording for inclusion in your Privacy Policy that you can use, if you are not already using. Please feel free to adapt this to incorporate into your school's privacy policy.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uGq1gN1ND7JjBYvXrAdYzPTzQ7WP1CGE

Adding parent/carer details to EfL

While you can, you may want to contact parents and work with them to get them onboarded to the Parent Engagement tools. Some of the school-produced resources (above) might be useful for this. It would be worth adding parent email addresses to EfL asap so that if you do decide to activate parent accounts you already have the email addresses in the system. You can find a guide on how to add parent details via the links above, or get in touch.

Helping any schools in your network

If you know of any schools in your network that need urgent help to put in place an online/remote learning provision, we'd be pleased to set them up with an extended free (and no obligation) trial of EfL with a free consultation to help them get set up to be able support their learners, families and teachers through the current crisis. Please feel free to put them in touch with us.

We are here to help as best we can during this unprecedented period. Please reach out to us if you need any further assistance.

You can email us at services@theteachercloud.net or call us on 0161 250 5151. 

We wish you, your learners and families well. 

Many thanks

the EfL team

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