Patrick McGrath

Small Changes for Big Wins - Texthelp @ EdTech Expo 2018

“Be better. Little changes can be a really big deal. So try doing something just a tiny bit better. It all adds up.”

That’s a quote written on the wall of the Texthelp offices - the wall I face most days. Taken at a glance, sometimes it can feel like one of those cheesy motivational quotes we all have in our schools and offices. Think about it a little longer though and you’ll realise it’s a very powerful message.

In education we tend to talk about the ‘big things’ - the need for attainment, improving literacy, building independence and equipping students with 21st century skills, amongst many others. All crucially important and all something we collectively work towards with traditional methods and with technology.

‘Big things’ require big wins which entail huge changes, and the journey there can sometimes look daunting. That’s where ‘marginal gains’ strategy comes in. A key concept in high performance sport such as rugby and cycling, it builds on the premise that we simply break down challenges and the desire to improve into small, incremental, and measurable changes which are then easily addressed. Taking these together, the small changes add up to some huge wins over time. As the quote on our wall says: ‘it all adds up’.

Breaking it down

By breaking everything down into small steps we can see gains more quickly in teaching and learning, and in the process we are giving our pupils more independence and a chance to be more reflective in their learning and build on each small success - one step at a time.

We already teach computational thinking in lots of our classrooms - the ability to break down challenges into small, manageable problems than can be solved much easier. So, why not change our wider approach to teaching and learning in a similar way? 

Technology is an incredible enabler for this - it creates opportunities for personalisation and a vast range of tools that, quite literally, can support every aspect of learning. Effective technology use and the choice of the right tools placed in the hands of students can ensure that success is achievable for all.

Pop along and see us at the EdTech Expo at Old Trafford on 21st June when we'll explore marginal gains and how we can use a range of practical technology strategies and software tools to deliver significant impact for every pupil.

Visit our stand at EdTech Expo to learn more, we can't wait to meet you!


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