PDST Technology in Education together with its Webwise team promotes Digital Citizenship in schools through the provision of targeted and high-quality online learning to teachers.
PDST Technology in Education, part of the Professional Development Services for Teachers in Ireland (PDST) is responsible for the promotion and support of digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment in Ireland on behalf of the Department of Education.
Its Webwise team are responsible for the promotion of safe and effective use of the internet by young people, providing online safety resources to teachers, parents and students.
An important goal for the organisation in 2021 was to promote Digital Citizenship and provide teachers with an in-depth understanding of what Digital Citizenship is, and how they can teach and promote it in their schools.
To support this, PDST Technology in Education and its Webwise team decided to create two online Digital Citizenship courses for teachers, one for primary and one for post primary.
The courses would draw on Webwise resources for digital citizenship, including HTML Heroes, MySelfie, Connected, Lockers, UpToUs, BeInCtrl and the Council of Europe’s Digital Citizenship framework and accompanying resource, All aboard for Digitown. The courses would also provide practical guidance to teachers on how to use these resources in the classroom and how to map digital citizenship activities to the Digital Learning Framework using PDST’s digital learning planning website, www.dlplanning.ie.
As this was a priority activity for the organisation, PDST Technology in Education took the opportunity to rethink the format and style of their online learning modules.
Their aims were to:
Increase teacher engagement and adoption of the activities provided
Design a fresh, vibrant look and feel that would help bring the topic of Digital Citizenship to life for teachers
Use high quality graphic design, incorporating high quality interactive features
Incorporate best-practice and the latest techniques in digital learning content design
Working with Amphigean, PDST Technology in Education created a summer course for primary teachers and a short, term-time course for post primary teachers, delivered online through learning theories, activities and good practice videos.
A 2-module, 4-lesson short course for post primary teachers was produced with similar design approaches to the primary course, including good practice videos produced by PDST Technology in Education and content targeted towards the post primary teacher.
A highly successful summer course achieving a very high positivity rating from teachers and achieving full marks in relation to content, learning experience, course management and overall from the Department of Education inspectorate for teachers who reviewed the course.
Significant uptake of summer course places despite an overall fall in post-Covid online course attendance in 2021 among Irish teachers
Very positive comments from both primary and post-primary teachers
A programme with a relatively long shelf-life to continue to help teachers embed digital citizenship into their school curriculum
National Coordinator CPD Design, PDST Technology in Education