Monday, 11 September 2017

The DRET Teaching Resource Library


Our teaching resources library is now open and continuously accumulating new material. Have a look at resources.dret.cloud. Ben will be doing a much deeper dive into how it works very soon, but this is a first look. If you aren't a member of staff at one of our academies you can see the site, but the folders with the resources in will appear blank - but you are able to see and use anything in the "Featured Resources" section.

As an organisation with 34 schools we have a lot of teaching resources.

The problem is how to make the best ones easily accessible.

Some lives on staff-shared drives at each academy, mingled together with admin material, resources that are for courses that no longer run and bought-in packs.

A lot lives on teacher's own laptops or external hard drives - and never get seen by colleagues.

What we're trying to do is make sense of all that and unlock the huge potential for time-saving and improving the quality of learning material in use.

We've started using Google Drive as the means of storing material (we did use Team Drive but the way permission to make changes is handled wasn't powerful enough) with a website front layer. That will allow colleagues that use Google Drive heavily to favourite particular folders and integrate the material with Google Classroom or Show My Homework. Happily, because of the way dret.cloud is built we have the ability to make the same material appear in other locations without doing a great deal of work, so we will add in new ways to get to the same content as we go.

Content can be used directly from the library although we imagine most teachers will take what they want, modify it and hopefully as they system matures, pay back by sharing their own materials to complement what's on offer.

Making a Go-To Resource Library presents a lot of challenges in terms of having enough material to launch - we've spent a year working on this.

Fortunately some colleagues had libraries of good content they really wanted to make available to all our schools - so we can provide a platform for that. We're also immensely grateful to the large number of colleagues who are in the Star Classroom project for opening their treasure trove of materials and sharing their greatest hits with us. As time progresses we will keep building and improving - systems like this are never finished and keeping the quality high and avoiding just copying across folder after folder of duplicate material is something to avoid.

Our primary schools started work this summer on a common curriculum plan for some areas. All the materials for that are being built into the resource library, so in the future when it covers all the primary age groups and several subjects, we'll be able to present it to people in a consistent and simple way.

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