Learning Possibilities in Wales – a world-class EdTech intervention promoting hybrid learning

As the school gates start reopening in the wake of the pandemic-induced closures, it is a good time to reflect on the lessons learned during the shift to online learning during these traumatic times.

When schools and governments begin reflecting, at a system level, on how to build resilience into the learning framework, two of the main takeaways from those schools that were best able to meet the learning needs of the whole school community during their forced closures are:

  • Digital skills amongst the teaching workforce can no longer be confined to those who are skilful early adopters of the new technologies, but ALL teachers now need to have, at their fingertips, the skills and capacity to be able to operate hybrid learning online learning environments
  • Students should be better prepared for a future that involves more home study and learning online through the development of their repertoire of skills and competencies in self-directed learning

The implementation of national learning platform in Wales, which Learning Possibilities installed and rolled out to more than 700,000 users, has been held out as a model of international best practice. In the study conducted by NESTA[1] in the UK, in collaboration with its international counterpart in Italy, the Welsh Government’s Strategy on Digital Competency in Wales, for which Learning Possibilities provided both the learning platform and the professional development and training framework, was singled out as one of only nine examples of best practice across the world.

 

The ‘Digital Competence Framework’ established digital competence as one of three cross-curricular responsibilities, alongside literacy and numeracy. The framework focuses on developing a broad set of digital skills required in our increasingly digital world. These span four main strands: citizenship, interacting and collaborating, producing; data and computational thinking.

Critical to the success of the project was the creation of learning platform, Hwb+, and the promotion of its use through the creation of  ‘Digital Pioneer Schools’ which enabled the creation of a network for shared learning between schools and government, and also between Digital Pioneer Schools and other schools across Wales . The schools involved early in the programme acted as hubs for sharing learning, sometimes offering training for teachers from other schools facilitated via their Consortia. The school and teacher-led approach meant that through the Digital Pioneer Schools network, the government involved schools in the development process. This helped to gain buy-in from schools, while also stress-testing the framework in real settings. Another critical success factor was the creation of pairing and mentoring schemes. For example, one school supported the roll-out of Hwb+ in every classroom by ensuring that reluctant teachers were always paired with a more confident teacher. Additionally, student digital leadership schemes were set up in many schools, where students were given responsibility to support teachers and other peers with ICT issues and champion digital learning. Such schemes are reported to be effective in supporting teachers with IT frustrations, encouraging more teachers to use IT as well as developing leadership and communication skills in participating pupils.

The ADOPT professional development framework from Learning Possibilities, was the implementation tool that was used in schools nationally as a roadmap to guide the journey from early familiarisation with the technology tools and resources available on  Hwb+ learning platform and the steps towards transformation: where  learning and teaching, in the new paradigm, fully embraces an integration of face-to-face and online learning in a truly hybrid manifestation.

 

The resources to support the ADOPT framework are constantly being reviewed and improved by the technical team at Learning Possibilities and the framework has now been integrated with the LP-OASIS, online testing and evaluation system to produce annual progress reports charting the professional development of staff and informing the next stage of school development planning .

 

[1] National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts

Virtual Schooling

It’s 2 months since the British economy and schooling system went into shutdown and longer for other countries in Europe and Asia. There has been uncountable number of articles, video, TV documentaries and analysis carried out on this new trend of “home schooling”, “virtual learning” or “digital transformation”. This is all to say that in a matter of months, the education system has transformed from being an onsite, face to face, classroom-based system to one that is carried at home, virtually over the internet.

While it may seem like this right now, to say that education has become virtual overnight is an insult to all those wonderful teachers and transformational leaders who had the vision over the past 10 – 15 years to create a more resilient system that strives to become ever more inclusive, and ever more accommodating for learners of different standards, abilities and interests.

What today looks like virtual learning and virtual schooling is actually one element of an integrated learning program coming to the fore and becoming visible to all (and for the first time to some). The advances in technology infrastructure has definitely helped in some countries, but in other countries despite the lack of good technology infrastructure, the vision, foresight and perseverance of countless number of teachers and education ministers to integrate technology, however basic, is bearing fruit today.

Some governments like the visionary government of Wales in 2010 created a vision for digital wales, creating a world class technology platform called Hwb that for the first time across the four British nations, and worldwide, created a national education system that integrated digital (online) and physical (offline) education delivery. Considered a world leading initiative by many education experts, the main outcome following almost a decade of use, from today’s perspective is that students & teachers across Wales are far more comfortable and at ease using technology to enhance delivery.

Other governments like the ones of Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America, owing to the limitations of infrastructure have initially embraced digital resources such as Wikipedia, Khan Academy and others. In addition, billions of dollars have been invested or earmarked to upgrade their telecoms infrastructure and to support teachers with an integrated set of digital tools into their onsite delivery of curricula.

So perhaps, instead of calling this the Virtual revolution or digital transformation, it is time to perhaps think of this as an integrated learning system, that works both online and offline.

In my next blog, I shall cover What Integrated Learning could look like for the economies of tomorrow. Until then, stay safe, keep reading and keep learning!

As we reflect on a successful 8 years of holding the national contract for digital wales we look back on the impact the platform had in inculcating Microsoft technologies into schools across wales.

 

Check out the Microsoft blog below & take a look back at the successful project:

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ukschools/2015/07/30/hwb-and-digital-wales-guest-post-from-gerald-haigh/

 

Learning Possibilities, a Microsoft Global Alliance Partner and aamra, a pioneer in the information and communication technology industry of Bangladesh, will together deliver the LP+365 App to educational establishments throughout Bangladesh.

Learning Possibilities are thrilled to have signed a partnership with aamra, winner of the 2017 Microsoft Country Partner of the year award, to revolutionise learning for students across Bangladesh. aamra are unrivalled in their understanding of the needs of their clients providing them with technology solutions  to maximise product satisfaction. aamra pride themselves on providing the appropriate technology to help organisations thrive delivering only the highest quality products and services. Learning Possibilities and aamra’s new partnership will  deliver the LP+365 solution aiming to improve digital literacy, drive Office 365 usage and provide users with the toolset needed to boost communication, collaboration and creativity in the classroom.

What is LP+365?

LP+365 is the latest learning and collaboration platform by Microsoft Global Partner, Learning Possibilities. Integrated with the latest Microsoft technology on one simple but engaging dashboard the App brings LP+ technology to Office365, providing schools with all the tools they need to share resources, communicate, collaborate and manage assignments. The App encompasses technology enhanced learning complementing flexible pedagogies where teachers and students can explore flipped learning.

The App uses every major Office 365 tool and requires merely 20 minutes of initial teacher training. Improving digital literacy and driving the usage of Microsoft technologies the App enhances digital skills essential for employment. With over 15 years of experience and over 1 million users already benefitting from LP+ technology in the UK, LP are experts in driving the adoption of Office 365 in the classroom to help educators inculcate digital skills in learners through their award winning LP+ Platform.

Contact

 UK

Victoria Flint

Victoria.Flint@lpplus.com

Bangladesh

Abdur Rahman Siddique

rahman.siddique@aamra.com.bd

 

 About Learning Possibilities

Learning Possibilities are a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner implementing e-learning solutions with expertise in cloud computing for education and government customers. The Learning Possibilities’ LP+ platform built on Microsoft technologies is currently available to over 1 million users across the UK. In 2015 the company’s contract to supply the Hwb+ National learning platform (based on the award-winning LP+4 learning platform) to the Welsh Government was extended to 2018.  An independent research done by Lancaster University in 2009 shows that the LP+ learning platform drives educational outcomes. Learning Possibilities has also published the LP+ Adopt e-maturity framework for schools, selected by Becta (UK Department of Education) as the National Learning Platform Adoption Model for England. See more on https://lpplus.com

 About aamra

aamra is an amalgamation of businesses which are focused towards catalysing the modernization of Bangladesh by providing technology driven solutions to their clients in various market segments. aamra’s Strategic Business Units (SBUs) serve their customers with wide range of IT and ITES solutions, i.e. Internet Solutions, International Internet Gateway (IIG), Video Surveillance, Video Conferencing, Payment & FSI Solutions, Enterprise Solutions, Cloud & IOT.  aamra is unrivalled in their understanding of the needs of their clients providing them with today’s technology to maximise product satisfaction and pride themselves on providing the appropriate technology to help organisations thrive. Delivering only the highest quality products and services. https://www.aamra.com.bd/

 Press Contact:

Learning Possibilities
Olivia Belchier
olivia.belchier@lpplus.com
020 8236 1033

Founder and CEO of Learning Possibilities recognized for services to the Jain Faith and Education.

 London, 1 January 2018: Learning Possibilities, the leading learning platform company, is thrilled to announce its founder and CEO, Dr Mehool Sanghrajka, has been awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year honours for services to the Jain Faith and Education.

For 20+ years, Sanghrajka has been dedicated to transforming education for students around the globe. He has developed e-learning solutions which improve outcomes for learners worldwide. Sanghrajka’s key focus is on meeting the needs of learners in the digital age while enhancing and developing their digital literacy skills no matter where in the world they are located.

Learning Possibilities has created the award-winning LP+ platforms transforming education for schools across the globe, serving education and government segments globally.

Here in the UK Learning Possibilities, delivered Hwb+ a bespoke bilingual learning management system used by over 1600 schools and 600,000 users in Wales in line with the National Strategy to increase digital competency in Wales.

Upon receiving the invitation to receive an MBE Sanghrajka stated:

“I am humbled and delighted to receive this award for my two passions— education and Jainism. This inspires me to do even more and I am truly grateful to all those who worked with me over the years.”

Mehool is a Trustee and Director of the Institute of Jainology, the UK Apex body for the Jain faith where he works with the Jain all-Party Parliamentary Group and is Executive Director of the Jainpedia.org project.

Further Information:

Meena Jamfava

Email: Meena.Jamfava@lpplus.com

Olivia Belchier

Email: Olivia.Belchier@lpplus.com

London, United Kingdom — June 1, 2017Learning Possibilities, today announced it has been named a finalist in the 2017 Microsoft Public Sector: Education Partner of the Year Award. The company was honoured among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology. (more…)


The 1980’s

I remember when we first connected schools together using online technologies in the 1980s, it seemed like the future was already here! (more…)

hwblogo

The Welsh Government published its Learning in Digital Wales Report on October 2016, which took a critical look at its funding of digital infrastructure, devices, platforms and content into schools.

On the LP+ (HWB+) platform, the report commented;

“Hwb+ [LP+] meets the objectives for the VLE which were specified, including a single user log on for all teachers and learners, ability to be accessed anywhere at any time from any device, and tools and content, most notably access to Office365, purchased through a ‘buy once for Wales’ approach. “

“Usage data on Hwb and Hwb+ and evidence from surveys and qualitative feedback seems to indicate that LiDW products and activities (including infrastructure improvements) have had a positive effect on increasing the use of digital resources in schools. Training, support and awareness raising activities also appear to have contributed to increases in the use of digital resources and to improving the confidence and awareness of teachers and school managers.”

The Report also comments on the high adoption of the HWB+ platform, and makes recommendations for future improvements of the programme. You can read the complete report here.

 

Elstree, 3rd November 2016 — Learning Possibilities Limited (LPL), the global learning company behind Hwb+, the All Wales National Learning Platform, is delighted to announce that Leighton Andrews, the former Welsh Government Assembly Member and Education Minister has joined its team as a Board Advisor.

Leighton Andrews, was Education Minister when Hwb+ was launched in Wales in 2012. Today Hwb+ is a core component for delivering the new Welsh curriculum and the Digital Competence Framework.

He will be assisting the Company with its global expansion plans and with its aim to drive the LP+ platform into the rest of the UK. In Wales he will work with the local LP+ team to expand and integrate the use of Hwb+ in schools.

Leighton, will be instrumental with Prof. Stephen Heppell, in advising the Board on their education strategy, vision and direction.

Stephen Heppell, Chairman of Learning Possibilities, commented:

“We are a social enterprise and at our heart is a passion to allow children to be the best they possibly can. In everything Leighton has done, he has evidenced that same passion. I’m delighted to welcome him aboard.”

About Learning Possibilities
Learning Possibilities are an award winning, Global Alliance and Gold Certified Microsoft Partner implementing e-learning solutions, with expertise in cloud computing for education and government customers. The Learning Possibilities’ LP+ platform built on Microsoft technologies is currently for 1 million users across the UK. In 2015 the company’s contract to supply the Hwb+ National learning platform (based on the award-winning LP+4 learning platform) to the Welsh Government was extended to 2018. An independent research done by Lancaster University in 2009 shows that the LP+ learning platform drives educational outcomes. Learning Possibilities has also published the LP+ Adopt e-maturity framework for schools, selected by Becta (UK Department of Education) as the National Learning Platform Adoption Model for England. For more information visit: Learning Possibilities Website

About LP+365

LP+365 is the most advanced LMS built on Office 365. The solution fully utilizes the power of Office 365 and will give schools an education focused and effective learning platform delivering the LP+ ADOPT pedagogy, and features and functionality of the LP+4 platform.

For more information contact Bansri Mehta | +44 (0) 20 8236 1018 | bansri.mehta@lpplus.com

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The Digital Competence Framework (DCF) is the first element of the new curriculum for Wales to be made available for schools in Wales. Digital Competency is defined by the Welsh Government as (more…)