The case studies have instigated exciting policies engaging the usages of digital technologies and open practice which will have a continuing impact on the communities that they serve. A number of the case studies incorporated elements of collaboration between the schools and the local community organisations. For instance, two of the case studies explored the use of QR (Quick Response) codes to enhance digital literacy skills of pupils. Case Study 2 was based around a treasure hunt where the children used mobile devices to find QR codes in Heathlands Park, and follow clues to find a story. The pupils in Case Study 4 created open resources to accompany exhibits in the Fire Pavilion at Magna Science Adventure Centre; the visitors will be able to access the resources via QR codes attached next to exhibits. Through these collaborations, the schools created a long-term foundation for future involvement. In both cases, the collaborative work will continue beyond the lifetime of the project as Magna are planning to roll out the use of QR codes across all of the pavilions and Friends of Heathlands park are planning to display QR codes throughout the park to help visitors learn more about the venue. The Chair of the ‘Friends of Heathlands Community Park’ commented that “We would never have thought of it if Rob had not introduced us to the concept [of QR codes]“. Another spin-off from the case study is that the organisation would like to become further involved with the school in terms of planning future joint activities in the park.
Another case study at started a CDP program that will have a lasting impact on the school community (see Case Study 10). Here the teacher set up a blog that worked towards improving communication between and within departments, sharing best practices and supporting professional development. The teachers who contributed to the blog were enthusiastic about its potential, and the project was well supported by the management of the school who are keen that the blog should continue into the next school year.
Other schools have used their projects to initiate home school links via blogs and regular parent/carer events. Several Primary schools in the project have set up vehicles where children can share their work which, now established, will contribute greatly to maintaining effective and supportive communication between the schools and the communities (see Case Study 5 and Case Study 8).
The work undertaken within the schools also seems to have a positive impact on parents – the feedback from dissemination events held at participating schools indicated that parents expressed an interest in learning more about digital technologies and ways in which these could support both their children’s learning but also their professional and personal life.
For references for this section see 6.4.3 References / Links to Further Resources