In his TILE Webinar on “Digital Learning In Our New Normal” Tim Beattie shared many resources and tips on how they navigated online and blended learning at his school, Harris Academy in Dundee, UK. With a strong focus on progressing the teaching and using tools to support the remote provision of learning and teaching, Tim described the lessons learned.
In his talk, Tim asked the audience:
“Think back. What was that one thing, as you were confined to your kitchen or living room delivering remote learning, that you wish you had done differently before remote learning, to enhance the quality of the learning and teaching you were delivering?”
Here are some of the answers from the audience:
“I wish I had made groups within the class in order to allow them to support each other and work collaboratively.”
“I have found Microsoft Teams a really useful way of communicating with students. So … some sort of dedicated social media platform (WhatsApp like) would have been great in the past.”
“Testing whether all platforms would work in different countries.”
“I wish I had taken more time to build relationships with pupils before launching into learning tasks.”
Tim offered that he wished that he had spent more time training students on how to use new software. There is the tendency to overestimate the tech ability in students and lots of it is probably attributable to navigating a new landscape.
Tim kindly recorded the talk for us and added further practical information on teaching and learning in the new normal. Check out the slides and the videos!


The current climate we find ourselves in regarding education in schools, has presented many challenges as well as opportunities for learning and teaching. As schools closed across the nation, practitioners adapted to new ways of teaching. Many of these ‘new ways’ were effective and indeed efficient with school doors closed, but as we move into a new normal with classrooms open, mid-term absences and an uncertain future – what have we learned? As we reflect on the past year what can we bring with us that will have the biggest impact on our learners moving forward. Amongst others, included in this discussion will be, a whole school approach to clarity regarding digital engagement, digital technologies used for learning and teaching, and building resilience and capacity in learners.


About the speaker:
Tim Beattie is the Principal teacher of learning and teaching at Harris Academy in Dundee, UK. He also makes up one quarter of the RMPS department there and works a few days a week as part of Dundee City Council’s pedagogy team. You can follow him on Twitter: @LandTHarris.