Digital learning came to the forefront of education when the U.K went into a full lockdown for the first time on 16th March 2020, followed by a second full lockdown in January 2021. Children were educated at home through digital learning with their teachers and parents/carers.
As a result of this, North Lanarkshire Council published version 7 of their Digital Learning and Teaching Guidance 2021, stating teachers must develop guidance and communication to support families with creating a stimulating learning environment at home (North Lanarkshire Council, 2021). To meet 2.1.4 of the General Teaching Council Standards for Registration (2012), which states teachers must have a secure knowledge of current guidance on how to use digital technologies to enhance teaching and learning (GTC Scotland, 2012), the guidance published by North Lanarkshire Council set out clearly the expectations for how pupils should be supported during periods of remote learning.
Live Microsoft Team meetings became a vital part of the communication package in the hope that live lessons and daily well-being check-ins would promote pupil engagement. A method which meets the expectation of teaching children digital skills suited to real-life experiences, set by the Scottish Government (2016).
As a result, this enquiry focused upon whether live calls motivated pupils to engage with remote learning. The purpose was to find out whether these calls had a positive impact upon promoting engagement during periods of remote learning.
The main aim was to explore the impact live calls had upon pupil engagement with online learning. As a group of practitioners teaching at early, first and second level within North Lanarkshire primary schools, it was decided to compare the impact live calls had upon motivating engagement across the different age groups being taught. The expectation was that live calls would encourage engagement, as pupils would be able to see, hear and communicate with their teacher and peers. This would promote a level of accountability as pupils are seeing teachers valuing and providing feedback on tasks submitted.
In preparation for conducting this enquiry, it was established that the format and purpose of live calls was different across the authority. However, one consistency was that pupils were asked to engage in live video calls at least once per week. As a result, this enquiry would consider the impact regular live calls had upon promoting pupil engagement.