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Consultation on a Proposal for a Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland

by Paul Nisbet & Dr. Stuart Aitken

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  • Pages: 12
  • File type: pdf
  • File size: 0.2Mb
  • Published: 2015

CALL Scotland's response to the Consultation on the development of a Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. The draft strategy is built on five principles: Local Leadership, National Support;  Partnership Working; Opportunities for All Learners; Evolution; Integration.

In our response, we raise concerns over the proposed balance between Local leadership and National Support and argue that greater national leadership is required to improve outcomes and raise attainment. The principle of Opportunities for all learners is misleading and open to interpretation, and the strategy should be based instead on equity rather than opportunity for all learners, not least to achieve consistency with the National Improvement Framework (NIF). To further develop this type of 'joined-up thinking', in our response, we suggest that the four key themes identified in the digital strategy should clearly articulate how they will help address the five priorities described in the NIF and we suggest adopting the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education ICT for Inclusion project Policy Monitoring Framework to bring greater focus on outcomes to the Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy.

Access to digital learning for learners with additional support needs is inconsistent across Scotland and so we propose an action to "ensure that senior leaders are aware of legal obligations to provide access to the curriculum using digital technology, and support them to make provision".

Under curriculum and assessment, we propose an amendment to one of the priorities for action, to wit: Work with SQA and other key partners to support, develop and embed
accessible approaches to assessment that make full use of digital technology. This is particularly important in the context of the proposed National Standardised Assessments given that that one fifth of learners may have additional support needs, and that 11% of candidates sitting SQA examinations in 2015 required Assessment Arrangements meet their support needs.

We argue that neither the Strategy, nor the Literature Review from which evidence is drawn, pay adequate attention to the needs of learners with ASN given that this group constitutes approximately 20% of the school population and that technology is essential for some learners to even participate in education. In comparison with its potential contribution to the wider population of learners, the importance of digital learning technologies in raising the attainment of learners with additional support needs and disabilities is of far greater importance.

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