Engaging with Learners: Learners’ Influence on the Use of Technology to Personalise Learning

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The paper focuses on how learners’ preferences about ways of learning using digital technologies can influence schools' decisions about teaching, learning and resourcing. This paper reports on findings from a research project which aimed to find out how learners and their representatives have influenced schools' decisions to introduce, support and grow opportunities for personalising learning through the use of technology. The paper will focus on ways in which learners’ voices about their preferred ways of learning in terms of their use of digital technologies can impact on teaching and learning and influence school decisions about resourcing. Particular attention will be given to the extent to which learners’ preferences about their use of technologies can transform school-based learning and the factors which facilitate and inhibit such transformations.
Research was conducted in 10 case study schools in England, comprising four primary schools, three secondary schools, one sixth form college and two special schools. The special schools comprised one secondary school with a large percentage of learners on the autistic spectrum and one hearing impaired unit attached to a secondary school.
What emerged from the research was evidence of learners influencing, and to a lesser extent, leading school-based activities using digital technologies. The experiences and voices of learners will be used to highlight the ways in which digital technologies were used, within in the case study schools in which the research was based, to support learners in managing and leading their own learning.

Keywords: Learner Voice, Learners' Preferences, Learner Participation, Personalising Learning Digital Technologies
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Engaging with Learners

Dr. Carol Robinson

Senior Research Fellow, Education Research Centre, University of Brighton
Brighton, UK

I am a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Brighton, England. My research interests focus around learner voice and participation; the transfer / development of good practice within and between schools; and the professional development of teachers. I have been involved in several research projects based around learner participation and voice and have led a number of Learner Voice projects in primary, secondary and special schools, helping staff to develop ways of listening to the voices of the young people in their schools. I also led the ‘Pupils’ Voices’ strand of the University of Cambridge Primary Review of Education in England. Currently, I am working with UNICEF to evaluate their school based Rights, Respecting Schools Programme and am a principal researcher on a project investigating the ways in which head teachers develop the skills required for school leadership.

Ref: L09P1102