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Podcast | Season 1 | Episode 32: EdTech and Covid-19: Past, Present and Future

This week Lauren and Alessandro have the pleasure to host a conversation with EdTech enthusiast Bukky Yusuf, on how technology has assisted educators and learners during lockdown and what role it will play with pupils going back to school. 

 ๐Ÿ“ŽOn-Demand Webinar - Implementing EdTech: How technology can enhance teaching and learning following COVID-19

  • How has the education sector adapted to using technology in light of COVID-19? #covidedustories
  • Post Covid-19: focus on recovery or drive to change the system?
  • Addressing concerns around EdTech, from the perspective of staff, pupils and parents and carers: online safeguarding, access to tech and digital divide, data use and privacy.
  • Exploring the benefits of EdTech, in terms of improving standards of teaching and learning
  • Advice on how to implement EdTech on little or no budget 

๐Ÿ’ก Bukky Yusuf, Senior Leader, Edith Kay School 

๐Ÿ“˜ This episode is hosted by IG Schools, the Schools & Academies Show and the EdTech Summit

๐Ÿซ This episode was recorded live on 1st September 2020. You can find the video of the webinar at this link.

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Lauren Powell
Hello I'm Lauren and today Alessandro and I have teamed up to speak with Bukky Yusuf, Senior Leader at Edith Kay School to discuss implementing EdTech and how technology can enhance teaching and learning following COVID-19. I lead the IG Schools portfolio of events, training and informative content. Innovative teaching and learning is a real key focus for IG schools so I'm really looking forward to exploring this with you both today. Ale is the Content Lead for the Schools and Academies Show and the EdTech Summit. Would you like to start by explaining a bit more about how EdTech fits in with your work?

Alessandro Bilotta
Absolutely. Good morning, everyone, thank you for joining us. My name is Alessandro, I'm the Content Lead for the Schools and Academies Show and the EdTech Summit. Education Technology has always been a part of the Schools and Academies Show, but this year, we have decided to actually expand on it and launch a new show the EdTech Summit, the show will focus on digital strategies for schools, colleges and universities. Bukky our guest today is part of the steering committee that has helped us shape the agenda for the event. Without further ado, Bukky would you like to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about you?

Bukky Yusuf
Thank you, good morning, everyone. My name is Bukki Yusuf, I'm a senior leader, science lead, and also a educational coach for middle and senior leaders. I've been involved in EdTech, I think more meaningfully for about 10 years, because I led it on a whole school basis looking at how we could actually enhance teaching and learning through mobile devices. I'm also passionate about anything that can actually enhance teaching and learning. I'm also involved in a number of different organisations, grassroot organisations, including WomenEd, looking at getting more women into leadership, BameEd supporting Black, Asian minority educators within education, and their developments and SLTChat, where we actually look at a number of different discussions that can actually take place across the UK. I'm an ambassador for leadership matters. So again, looking at utilising my coaching and leadership skills. I'm involved in a number of different groups looking at EdTech. Again, it's something I'm passionate about, and I love because it links to teaching and learning.

Alessandro Bilotta
Absolutely and that is, that is great. We are happy to have you here today because you have a keen eye on how EdTech is developing. We've seen during lockdown in these difficult times how the sector has embraced EdTech even more than before, and probably to a level we could not proceed a few months ago.

Alessandro Bilotta
You have been active as well on social media on Twitter with the hashtag #CovidEduStories, where you are collecting stories from your colleagues, just to share it with everyone and see how each one of your peers were coping with technology and how they work selling and what challenges they had. So from your own point of view, your own experience, what could you tell us about this?

Bukky Yusuf
With regards to distance learning or with #CovidEduStories?

Alessandro Bilotta
I would say both. So your your perspective on how the sector has embraced education technology, and then also your experience with #CovidEduStories.

Bukky Yusuf
I would have to say hats off to the education community at various levels for embracing it and I think it just highlighted the fact that we as a collective we, did whatever we could to help our students learn and continue learning in spite of the extremely challenging global backdrop. That meant we had to learn as well. So as we know, we've, you know, for many people who've been trying to promote the use of EdTech on a wholeschool basis for teaching learning, it's been an uphill struggle that pushing water uphill. One positive about COVID-19 is the fact that overnight there was a switch. So we distanced learning and remote learning how it was described, we had to utilise the technologies that we have, there was no choice and it meant that teachers who I would describe as technophobes were finding ways to make it work. They were supporting each other, we were supporting the students, some of the students, were even helping teachers surreptitiously about the best ways of using it, but overwhelmingly proud about the you know, the response because I just think, as I said, it highlights we want the very best for our students. That links to #CovidEduStories and the fact that myself and my co host, Mark Anderson, we were just capturing the positives, what was actually working well, and how different educators in you know, primary, secondary, and FE sectors work, you know, coping with distance learnin in a number of different ways, you know, to, you know, keep the, I suppose the pastoral aspects going, you know, looking at ways to give advice and support to parents who were suddenly in the role of teachers and haven't experienced that didn't know what to do, looking at effective marking feedback to determine different aspects and it was great to give a platform for educators to share what was working, and also some of the set things that didn't work so well, but the learning points and what they would actually do differently. So it's been very well received. I think it's great to be part of a legacy of this particular period so we can actually look back and think, okay, in spite of the difficulties and challenges, there were many great things that have been done.

Lauren Powell
Yeah, I think that's so encouraging to hear so many positive stories, you know, and that colleagues have been giving praise to each other as well, all their hard work that they've been doing the last couple of months. Obviously, we know there are quite a lot of concerns around EdTech as well and you know, one of those being like you mentioned some staff maybe in the beginning even if less so now were technophobes, and a bit scared of these new platforms that they were having to engage with really, really quickly. More widely, you know, access to digital technology for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds in particular, has been difficult, you know, even with the government's free laptop scheme, and then again, the attainment gap that relates to that. But also concerns around online safeguarding, data use, privacy, these are concerns that will be felt across the board but differently, whether you you know, you're a senior leader or teacher, or a parent or pupil or carer. So just kind of from, you know, again, your experience, whether it's part of the #CovidEduStories or more widely, how have you kind of experienced these concerns or how do you think they've been felt by others and, are they still an issue or have they been worked through enough now in the previous months?

Bukky Yusuf
So with regard to safeguarding it will always be an issue. You know, that is something that educators always you know, and by educators, I mean, teaching staff, teachers, head teachers, senior leaders, etc. In one word, we've been supporting students. safeguarding will always be a concern. I think one of the, one of the challenges, one of the things that was actually difficult is in the fact that when you have say, for example, it was great that so many companies were actually allowing schools to use their products for free and you know, I commend them for that. That was really great. A little bit overwhelming, but it was it was still good. But I think one concern was the fact that there wasn't clarity about where the data that was actually being shared was going to. For example, I remember being involved in a conversation with one group in which a pretty famous application that was well used before COVID-19. They, I think, had moved the data on to a different platform, which meant they will have to pay like 30 different organisations and companies that had access to the students data, but nothing was said nothing was said in writing and that wasn't related to schools, and that will be a concern. So I think there needs to be transparency with organisations and the fact that they need to really make their particular GDPR. If schools sign up, if students, you know, details and stuff details are actually being utilised, what what's happening with that data? And making sure that we can be sure because these aren't all the questions you ask, but making sure that they've got the backup of teachers in that regard. So with regards to, I don't remember the second part of the question, can you repeat the second part of the question please?

Lauren Powell
Yeah, I'm just kind of exploring all these different concerns, as you say, that's a big part of it. Now, I guess another part of the areas of the key concerns has been, you know, either teachers that have had to get used to using these new platforms without having much experience of EdTech, pedagogy and then also the access to technology and the digital divide.

Bukky Yusuf
Thank you. Thanks for repeating that Lauren. Okay, with teachers and training, what was great, I think they might go on the fact that very few of us actually used technology before lockdown. But we were willing to learn from each other and not only were we willing to learn from each other, and by that it was, you know, there were opportunities for people to showcase and share good practice, even during lockdown in a virtual circumstance of how they were using PowerPoint to support students that may, you know, that have complex learning needs, such as global learning delays and things like that. So that we could actually think, oh, okay, we could try those ideas, but also bite sized CPD's, so training sessions. So very specific it may be okay, this is how you can actually use Google Meet to record a session or this is how you can actually add audio to like a PowerPoint slide or something, very specific, very purposeful and very short. So that it fed into where the teachers on what they need to actually work upon, and they weren't being overwhelmed and we can actually come back and revisit and share you know, share it successes. That also led to a community of learners not only were we teaching our students, but we were learning about what works best as well, you know, I've been involved with EdTech for many years. But there were certain things, for example about Google Meet, I didn't know. So it was great to be part of a community where it's not to say I'm an expert, but we're all learning together and just sharing good ideas.

Bukky Yusuf
I think another particular aspect is a little difficulty that perhaps wasn't so well highlighted during lockdown is the schools providing clarity to parents, carers and guardians about the roles, specific role they played in supporting the distance learning. So for example, you know, their role may have just simply been so make sure that we're monitoring the homework that was being set, and making sure that their child is actually doing that. That may be that there's no teaching input. Their role maybe say someone have a mentor who's actually sitting down with their child, and actually just supporting them and actually drawing them along, and you know, encouraging them to keep trying. So I think there are there are different aspects and again, this is something I've never even considered, but I actually learned during this particular period. But I think in addition to that, a difficulty that was overlooked by I think some educators is thinking where you've got parents who are trying to support parents, carers and guardians, have you looked at the resources from their perspective.

Bukky Yusuf
So lots of worksheets going out, but there's no printer or facility or, you know, particular applications or sites that are being used. But it's the child doesn't have a laptop, they've got to do everything on a mobile so therefore, it reduces the quality of the the learning experience, you're actually engaging with many schools, I have to say we're really good. My school included in being really clear, and understanding the technological support what was at home and doing it in a way that was collaborative and supportive, not patronising or demeaning or anything like that. So we could tailor what we were doing to them. I think there were some schools that still need to address this and make sure that they really understand though, don't assume that everyone's got a printer or they can afford even if they got a printer, they can afford to print off reams and reams and reams and reams of worksheets, because that's not really an effective use of EdTech. So I just think that schools need to take the time if they've not already done so to sit back and think, what has worked really well with our remote learning? What do we need to change? And consider how they actually sought inputs and insights from the students, parents, carers and guardians as to what they can actually do differently as well.

Alessandro Bilotta
I agree with you absolutely. I'm a big advocate of EdTech, so I'll give you plenty of time now to discuss all the positive aspects of it. But it's up we need to be conscious about the full reality of it. So you've touched already on it and I think this lockdown just exposed the social digital divide, and the difference between families across the UK and how this affects the learning outcome of pupils in their immediate term but also in the medium and long term.

Bukky Yusuf
One of the things I have to be thankful to the government for considering, you know, like trying to provide laptops and you know, broadband, you know, 4G access to disadvantaged students, the issue I have is how the disadvantaged students were actually categorised. So for example, I listen to radio for this morning and a survey was actually undertaken with head teachers across the UK of where they were actually saying, you know, how confident were you about the students being able to access remote learning and they said about I think a quarter, you know, students, young people were not able to access because they didn't have laptops or you know, they didn't have the devices or the internet connectivity. Now, if you think about the government scheme, which again, I have to praise because you know, because they are thinking about it, because of the categorisation they you know, for young people maybe like in year 10, or they had to have support from social workers, etc. That equated to the distribution about approximately 200,000 laptops. But if you think about that, You know, there's often the government's, for the survey of head teachers, we're talking about up to 2 million children, young people who are in deprived areas, you know, like areas of deprivation, who didn't receive that. So that's a massive gap between the two. So I think that there needs to be a wider focus and understanding about what we mean by disadvantaged, and making sure that the children who really do and the people who really do need the facilities get it. There's also an assumption about the fact that young people in colleges and FE have got the resources and things like that. That's an assumption. Again, if you talk to, if you talk to the school leaders, if you talk to teachers, they can tell you quite clearly that the young people in FE who have the facilities, were okay with continuing their remote learning. That was the minority as opposed to the majority. So I think that we need to move away from making assumptions, speak more to our school leaders and teachers about what is it they need and fewer students and look have different ways of actually providing for them because the as you say, there are still children who and young people too, through no fault of the school, were not able to access the learning because of, you know, situations and issues at home and part of that was due to the technological access.

Alessandro Bilotta
I do personally believe that EdTech is just an empowering tool that should be actually embedded within the school. So we go back to digital strategies, what's the importance of having it as part of a school strategy rather than an add on that just arrives at the end of it. As an empowering tool, we could be empowering for every educator, but at the same time for every learner. So we think of personalised learning so toward allows a pupil to learn at their own pace, but also empowering for children that do have all young adults that who have disabilities, learning difficulties, and how the technology can enhance their learning.

Bukky Yusuf
I certainly agree and I think there's different aspects within that Alessandro. So the first thing is my, what's the word, aversion, almost to the use of the word digital strategy. Sophie Bailey, who does the EdTech podcast, her most recent podcast, we're looking at how we can use remote learning to port schools from September onwards in what they actually want to do in terms of teaching learning and you know, the whole aspects. That also featured interviews with a teaching and learning lead in one of the demonstrated schools with FDF demonstrated schools where it was great, I think, you know, it to be innovative to have schools that were excellent. And you can define excellence in different ways in their use of EdTech, education technology, supporting other schools during the lockdown and showing them how they could actually make better use of remote learning and I thought it was really great.

Bukky Yusuf
One of the tech leads actually turned and said is he said that you shouldn't be thinking I agree, it's not about the kicks and the stuff. It's about your strategy and your vision and a strategy has got to be it has to be linked to the school improvement plan, the school development plan. Obviously, within the school development, school improvement, and there are different aspects. But it's got to be looking at enhancing teaching and learning and narrowing, you know, learning gaps, increasing progress. If the technology that you want to use no matter what it is, is not intertwined with that. You have to separate strategies that may or may not meet, you've got to be really clear about the purpose of the technology, because I'm, I'm even one of those is in spite of my love of EdTech. I will ask why are you using it? What's the purpose? If it's not designed to enhance say for example, specifically teaching or learning in the first instance, there may be other aspects, maybe in terms of enhancing the systems of your systems, you have to reduce his workload. If it doesn't have a specific purpose, don't use it. There's no point because what you're doing is you're adding an extra layer of confusion, that doesn't really enhance anything but it creates disdain for tech because it didn't work.

Bukky Yusuf
If you're not strategic and purposeful, and really clear about its purpose, it will not work no matter what you're trying to implement it not work. So whenever I think about an EdTech and the implementation, it has to fit in with, as I say, the school development plan, and purposefully in terms of teaching learning, otherwise, forget it. With regards to you mentioned your example about SEND students again, we you know, that they there has to be very special consideration. Thinking about because SEND is such a broad remit. So what do you what, what are you trying to dD. To try and for example, use technology to support a child who's got dyslexia and maybe you know, from a child who's got, say, like, for example, autism parents who have completely different learning needs, and you may need to use technology that supports they're learning in completely different but valid ways. So again, it cannot be, you know, like, what's the word like a back of a cigarette packets type thing. It takes time when I when I did it in school, I was naive, I thought, oh, yeah, you know, just get that we've got the kit, this is what we want to do. It doesn't work that way. You need to think about your strategy, and be purposeful and think which piece of technology works and fits with that. The same thing with your SEND students looking at what are their particular learning needs, and which piece of technology could support it, and then having conversations with schools that do this really well. So the demonstrator schools as I mentioned, and getting advice from them, because I now work in a special school, and I obviously use tech, we have students who have got a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities. So I go out for special schools and see in action, what they do and I think about my learners and ask questions and learn and then take that back in. So I think it's again, it's not it's not quick and easy. What is good is the fact that nationally now we have in that conversation that's taking place, and people are not now more aware and one of the positives again about remote distance learning is the fact that it showed us in some cases where we have passive students who weren't really engaging with teaching, learning, you know, when we were on site anyway, they engage with, you know, the learning in ways we never imagined so that it shows that we just need to do something differently, we need to find out about what works best for them.

Lauren Powell
You made some really interesting points there, about the benefits and the potential of using EdTech to really kind of, you know, whether you want to think about recovery or revolution for the curriculum, just in terms of even just the way that you use EdTech to revolutionise teaching, you know, like, say has so much potential but, and, you know, just kind of going back to some of the concerns, maybe budgeting for EdTech is often seen as a little bit of a stumbling block and you know, what can we get funding for, you know, schools are obviously are always under so much pressure financially anyway even kind of trying to deliver teaching in maybe more traditional ways. So, do you have any kind of advice maybe for schools on implementing EdTech on a really small or even no budget?

Bukky Yusuf
For some schools that's that's been the experience for at least two to three years you know very little if no money even if the will is there. What I firstly say is look to see do you have, and every school has this your cupboard of shame, your cupboard of tech shame, where you've got devices that were bought over the years that are just sitting gathering dust, so they may be say, for example laptops that, you know, very slow cumbersome gathering dust or even iPads. Think about how could you repurpose them. So for example, some schools, I know in the last 12 to 18 months, what they've actually done is repurpose the laptops so they could actually use them in a way so like Chromebooks, because what they're just doing is accessing the internet. And you know, and that might be a way. So I think it's actually just thinking, what have you got that could be repurposed? What I think would be interesting is, and I don't know, for a fact about, you know, all the different schools, but the demonstrator schools, if you've got some who have made an impact, with little or no money, then actually showcasing and share it and highlighting what they actually did to do that.

Bukky Yusuf
Because, you know, I know people are trying to look for money there are there are very few opportunities, for example, with Nesta and their test beds, they provided opportunities for schools to come on board and actually try out say, like, apps, websites and applications and things like that. So there is an opportunity, but obviously, we're talking on a on a small scale that is not not to compare all the schools across the UK. So it's to try and come up with the money now, I'll be honest, is very difficult. But I just think that there are there's a lot out there that's free. So for example, you know, like Google to name one of a few. In essence, it's free. I think it's about utilising what you have, and utilising it really well. You've got, say, for example, PowerPoint, that is a really, really anybody who knows me knows that I love PowerPoint, and I and I hold my hand up to that we pride. It's a very powerful tool, even though people say, oh my god, it's very dry, you don't use it in presentation mode. You can do so much more with it, you can actually create videos from it, you can add audio to it, you can you can do a lot. So I think it's about where there's not a lot of money, where you've got things like, you know, Microsoft applications, etc. Go back to basics, look at what you've got, and think how could we use this even more effectively than we already are? And you'd be surprised, as I said, with PowerPoint, the things I can do with that. It brings the teaching learning alive, and that's the key thing. You don't always have to spend lots of money. You know, in fact, if I think about it, a lot of money has been wasted over the years. You know, trying to utilise EdTech in schools with very little impacts. Let me rephrase that very little impact in terms of student outcomes, maybe like, for example, GCSEs, and a lot and things like that. So when we have the money, and we were using the money, lots in, you know, in lots of different ways, in terms of buying, buying and purchasing things, it didn't have the impact. I just think this is an opportunity. It's tough to go back to basics and think, what do you have? And how can you best make the use of that? And you know, and just take that as a starting point?

Lauren Powell
Yeah, absolutely and so I guess, related to that, and some of the points that Alessandro brought up earlier as well. Do you kind of see EdTech offering an opportunity to, you know, recover the curriculum and curriculum delivery after COVID? Or is it more about kind of revolutionising the way that we deliver education?

Bukky Yusuf
That's that's a very interesting question, and I can imagine that my answer will be contentious in some people's eyes. With out having an idea about collectively where your students are in terms of what they learn what they now know and also looking at the pastoral aspects about how they are looking, you know, layering in the mental health and well being aspects. I think it will be a little bit premature to think about revolution you know, like curriculum revolution, I'm for that you need to know where your students are. So in the first instance, it is about recovery, but it's about using it in different ways. So for example, you could use for example, like Google Forms to have a differentiated learning activities where, if you know that you've given, I'm a scientist, for example, if I give them learning lessons on say, for photosynthesis, and I know from the feedback I've received my students that some of them didn't even touch the work for a variety of reasons, whereas others did and excelled. You could use Google Forms to have say for example, a quick review for those that didn't actually engage with it or didn't learn anything for whatever reason, those that, you know, some learning activities for those that got it but maybe have a few issues, or they didn't understand and need a little bit more clarity on. And those that got it you could have something you know more challenging things they like, exam style questions or what have you.

Bukky Yusuf
So using something can seem simple as Google Form is a differentiated tool that enables every student to learn with regards to a topic, I think you need to be clear about what it is you're trying to achieve and the purpose of it and making sure that you make your students feel comfortable about re engaging with the learning and familiarise themselves with what they've actually learned. And then building those skills. Once you've got to particular one, and this may not mean you haven't to do it for weeks and weeks and weeks. It may mean maybe for a month, at the very most and we're still you know as they were still finding out how that goes. Then maybe thinking about okay, can we be more now more innovative with the curriculum, particularly for schools who wants to implement blended learning approaches That therefore means that remote learning will still be taking place. So you could perhaps be more innovative and it may mean say, for example, project based things I know for some students who the wrap and depth of their learning just rocketed because they were finding ways of, of learning, or they were finding topics that really meant something to them, and they really went to town with that. We need to think about facilitating that but again, you know, it's about looking at what works for you, for your students and that is purposeful, purposeful to the curriculum. But I think my my only hesitation about that is the fact that where you've got, say, for example, exam groups, it is rapidly thinking about doing it differently, though, it might mean a recovery and perhaps innovative curriculum that goes hand in hand, but it enables them to cover the learning and the learning content, whether it's off site remotely, or with you in school.

Alessandro Bilotta
Well, what I would say is probably a few months ago, I could have asked you a question, how can a school senior leader start their journey within EdTech. Now I think every school has started one way or the other a journey into EdTech. But what type of guide, what advice would you give on how they can develop this experience with EdTech?

Bukky Yusuf
It goes back early to what I said about looking at the resources you already have, and looking at actually what works for your learner's. Then it's also looking at your teachers as well in terms of skills because no matter what you have, if it's not being utilised as effectively as it possibly can, it's not being utilised, purposefully or the knowledge and understanding it's going to have limited impact. So you also need to consider, as I said, making sure it links back to your school development plan. But also think about the the training opportunities for your staff, staff as well as your students do not assume that your students because they are digital natives, they've got the skills necessary to you know, utilise the tech in a way that will help them to learn and don't make assumptions about stuff as well. So I think that the aspects need to be linked into that as well. And also they need to have clarity. So for example, if they are continuing with EdTech, whatever that application is website portal, they need to have an idea. So for example, you know, like in terms of action plans, you need to have an idea and aim specific desired a more outcome of what you expect that to do and make sure that you have you know, like termly reviews in that regard to see, is it meeting our needs desired needs? Is it you know, it, you know, are they meeting our milestones? Or do we need to review and tweak things along the way? It's as you would do with any particular aspect that you're actually reviewing. But you need to be clear, as I say, about what purpose is it serving what you know what aims it may mean that you have, you know, where you've got lower priority students who are disengaged with the curriculum, for example, that you may mean, you know, you may have to have, you may want to have an outcome where they're more engaged with the curriculum. Well, if that is the case, then How will you know they are engaged? What will be the markers and indicators of actually happening? How will your staff know? So it's a collective understanding about what that actually means. It's just as I say, what you would normally do for any other type of action plan, but be very specific, because I think the danger is, and I experienced this as well, this is reason why parties like took me so long is the fact that you have a nebulous idea about what we want, but it's not pinned down so that, you know, if success is actually happening, no one's actually clear about it happening. So it's spending time to get the detail that you need down on paper that makes it really easy for anybody from a classroom teacher all the way up to senior leadership to pinpoint where success is actually happening and the desired impact actually taking place.

Alessandro Bilotta
You actually touched upon this upon training, and how important that is for educators to learn how to use all of these tools. We have a personal question for yourself. How did you get to this point, being an advocate of EdTech and an expert of it?

Bukky Yusuf
Well, I've actually got a TED talk that I'm in the middle of putting together, which explains this. Okay, there's two, there's two points. So there's one embarrassing one not embarrassing. I am, basically was a gamer when I was younger, and accidentally, you know, it's my dad, because I'm the eldest, the fourth, and my dad actually bought like, again, is this like old school like a Atari, all these hand consoles for my youngest brother? And I thought, wow, this is really great. So I got into that. Then I think the learning from that is the fact that we don't when you're playing games, it's you know, you never go from one level to another until you know, you make mistakes. You've got to figure out how to actually get you know, how can you beat the boss? Or how can you actually go on to the next level? And I in a way see EdTech in a similar way. It's like problem solving. We have an issue, how can we use the tech to, you know, to try and create a solution. That's what I did. So that's the non embarrassing part. The embarrassing part is the fact that when I remember that my only day to teaching my learning was really boring, and my students complained. They just thought, what is this? Why is this PowerPoint so dry and things like that. So they and I was like, well, you know, no one's actually told me I wasn't taught about how to use EdTech to make, you know, more creative and effective learning resources. So my young students showed me to do it and then from then I thought, right, this is a little bit embarrassing, but they were really sweet. I decided to go on to train myself. So at the time, a local authority was offering free I suppose tech support sessions. So it might be like using the like videos more effectively, or lessons or PowerPoint. I gravitated towards PowerPoint, because this is where my student I needed in my lessons I want my students complaining about and that's what I started to learn the full potential of PowerPoint, and it basically grew from there because I thought, well, if I can do this, then what other what other people doing and what else is out there so yeah, so that's that's basically where it started.

Alessandro Bilotta
That is that is great and I think that shows just how it starts from a small thing from personal experience and it goes can grow that into the expertise you have and how it affects then everyone working with you and your peers as well. So that is great and very inspiring.

Bukky Yusuf
Thank you.

Lauren Powell
Just kind of a final question from me, I guess. Now that we are obviously at the start of a new academic year, getting ready to go back to school and whatever that is going to look like in different contexts in different parts of the country. What are your kind of priorities, for the next, you know, term up to Christmas or for the next academic year in terms of EdTech? What are you going to be focusing on and how are you going to be using it?

Bukky Yusuf
Yeah, so in terms of EdTech, first things first is actually know where my students are, as I say, you know, my students are and you know, I am competent about the fact that I know where they are in terms of they're learning because we have a system to use Google Classroom to see that. But knowing where they are in terms of, you know, being receptive to learn on site, as well as continuing with remote learning unit we're going to implement, we're going to explore the use of blended learning. So that's the first thing. Secondly, it's making sure that my curriculum is purposeful. So we obviously plan it, you know, in advance, but making sure that it can work, whether I'm on site, or continuing with the remote learning. Then thirdly, making sure that the the tech that I use can facilitate the the teaching and learning approaches that I need to employ for my different learners. Being in a small school obviously means I've got a smaller number of students, and we teach one to one, you know, again, because of complex learning need, so it makes it easier just to keep an eye on that, but that I think that is the order. Making sure as I say the curriculum is important because I need to ensure as far as I can between now and the end of the academic year, the learning still takes place. We can actually, we can actually demonstrate the students making progress in a purposeful way. And that you're just using that, the tech to do that. Lastly, it's about me continuing to take the opportunities of the free training that's been provided. Again, so many different organisations stepped up to the mark, in providing, you know, like different things. Like for example, over the weekend, I stumbled across how to even use Zoom more effectively, I didn't realise it existed. So I'll be taking up those particular opportunities so that in my own time, I could feel even more competent in using some of the, you know, applications I've never come across. I didn't use Zoom before, below lockdown and things like that, but I'm much more competent with that. So they are going to be my key priorities. They're very much low key, because I don't want to make too many grand plans and then you know, if we're in lockdown against God forbid or what have you, everything's thrown up into air. What I want to make sure is I've got things in place that continue irrespective of what happens. My school were really, really good in doing that and I just want to make sure that I feel competent and skilled enough to do that for myself as one of my students.

Alessandro Bilotta
Well, I would like to thank Bukky very much for spending time with us today and answering all the questions. I want to remind everyone that Bukky will be speaking at the EdTech Summit taking place on the 18th and 19th of November at the NEC in Birmingham. Go check the website at also go on the Schools and Academies Show Website, registration for both shows are open, we will very much like to see you there, attendance is free.

Lauren Powell
Thank you both. It's been such an interesting discussion today and I'm sure that everybody listening is going to be able to take away a lot from you've been able to share with us so we really do appreciate it. As Alessandro said all those links he just mentioned we'll post those below this recording today as well whether you're watching the webinar or listening to the podcast, and we'll include some other links as well that you know, things that Bukky mentioned such as the #CovidEduStories so that people can explore more from those as well. Any of our social medias will post those things so everybody can listening can continue the conversations online, aroundF effectively implementing EdTech. So in the meantime, wishing you all the best for the start of the autumn term, and thanks again.

Bukky Yusuf
Thank you. Thank you very much.