Support comes in many forms in school: ICT technicians, peers, parents, community projects, and OER networks and there are hundreds of websites offering curriculum materials and ideas including
Historically, much of the support for maintained schools was provided by Local Authorities in the form of advisers and advisory teachers. Much of this work was incorporated into a network of City Learning Centres (CLCs) from 2001, and though some generate sufficient income to remain open and work in partnership with schools, colleges and businesses (See Case Study 13), many closed when government funding was removed from 2010. However, most local authorities still maintain Grids for Learning, providing open resources and information for any user and closed areas for schools within the area.
Since 1998, Advanced Skills Teachers (ASTs) have been employed to work in maintained schools supporting teaching colleagues in their own schools as well as other schools in the area (See Case Study 1). Becta, formed in 1998 to build on and extend the work of the National Council for Educational Technology (NCET) which was closed in 2011 when government funding was removed.
JISC, in its definition of digital literacy as ‘a society-wide entitlement’ to these capabilities at some level, suggests that it could be considered seen as ‘a responsibility of the whole education system’ and of ‘wider society’. One implication of this is the need to advocate many more collaborative projects online and offline in order that digital literacy is embedded in our schools and that supportive networks are important.
The case studies in the DeFT Project built upon a pre-existing network to establish a community of practitioners including HE tutors, teachers, students, researchers and partners. This established a creative synergy which provides a model for developing Digital Literacy that cuts across sectional interests and structural constraints.