The SELFIE PTK is currently available in five languages (English, Estonian, Greek, Finnish, and Italian) and in two different forms: as an online system and as a set of documents you can download to work with locally. These two options mean each school can use the tool in the way that best fits their purposes and circumstances. In any case, the SELFIE PTK is a flexible system that offers your school support, guidelines, and other resources that help you make good practical use of the outcome you obtain from your SELFIE self-reflection process. It provides you with assistance in several important areas: (a) interpreting the data you get from your SELFIE report; (b) bringing to light any critical aspects of digital education your school might need to concentrate on and deciding which of these to prioritise; and (c) planning paths for action addressing those prioritised needs. In this sense, the SELFIE PTK builds on the initial suggestions outlined on the EC’s SELFIE portal for working with your SELFIE results.
To get a clearer sense of the SELFIE PTK and how you might use it, it is worth looking at how the tool itself is structured. Basically, it is made up of threelayers:
a core process of general phases
key steps within those phases
guidelines and resources supporting the entire process.
This diagram illustrates the three layers of the SELFIE PTK and their various parts in a schematic way, but it is not intended to suggest a rigid framework fixed in cement. The tool comprises a flexible set of components that your school can explore, adapt, and use as it sees fit in the endeavour to develop, enact, and evaluate your own SELFIE-based Action Plan (see section “What is a SELFIE-based Action Plan?”) for better use of digital technologies in teaching and learning.
The SELFIE PTK is based around a core of basic phases that your school can follow through the process of developing, enacting, and evaluating your SELFIE-based Action Plan. This layer covers the main decision-making and action-taking phases proposed in the SELFIE PTK. It revolves around the School Coordinating Team’s efforts to interpret the content of the school’s SELFIE Report with confidence, set suitable digital education objectives, plan a well-defined path of strategies and activities for attaining them across the school, monitor performance, and evaluate their success in bringing about better use of digital technologies in teaching and learning. And the SELFIE PTK can provide support every step of the way (see following sections).
Commonly, when a school sets out to design a digital action plan, the process begins with some key staff members defining a shared vision and identifying the school’s needs (more or less) from scratch, perhaps with a brainstorming session. Using the SELFIE PTK introduces a different approach, in that the SELFIE PTK’s core phases revolve around school-wide self-reflection using SELFIE and review of the detailed report that results from that. So, the whole process is firmly grounded on the evidence the school gains when its learning community (school leaders, teachers, and students) participate in SELFIE, and is helped along the way with support, as described later. As well as being a starting point for devising the SELFIE-based Action Plan, school-wide SELFIE self-reflection can be employed for reviewing the outcome of that Plan’s success and impact, bringing the process full circle and even into successive loops.
There are three general phases:
Phase 1: Review and prioritisation of the school’s SELFIE outputs.
Phase 2: Development of its SELFIE-based Action Plan.
Phase 3: Enactment and evaluation of that plan as it unfolds.
Note that these are not necessarily proscribed to be performed in rigid sequence. While progress of the implemented activities is being monitored in Phase 3, it may become apparent that activities which were planned in Phase 2 need to be adjusted on-the-fly. This sort of back-and-forth cycle (from design to enactment to appraisal to re-design and so on) is common, and – as all teachers know – it is also an indication of healthy, critically-aware practice.
There are seven steps, which determine how the three general phases would typically unfold. But as mentioned, these steps are not set in stone, either in nature or in sequence: the school can decide to adjust, rearrange, or reorder them as they see fit. Scope for personalisation to suit a school’s particular conditions and needs is a feature of the SELFIE PTK.
Phase 1 covers Steps 1 to 3. Each of these helps the school define a set of absolute priorities based on careful SELFIE PTK assisted analysis of its SELFIE Report. Phase 2 has two main steps (Steps 4 and 5) that involve design and development of the SELFIE-based Action Plan, including provision for its evaluation once enacted. Finally, Steps 6 and 7 in Phase 3 involve enacting and evaluating the SELFIE-based Action Plan. In all these cases, the school can turn to the SELFIE PTK for guidelines and support material (described in the “Guidelines and Resources” section below).
Review & Prioritise SELFIE outputs
Step 1: Review SELFIE Report results
Gain overall understanding of SELFIE Report output; identify key data (e.g., convergence/divergence in views of different respondent groups; response from personalized items); compare area outcomes (e.g., main vs additional areas); select 2-3 focus issues for SELFIE-based Action Plan.
Step 2: Investigate selected SELFIE items
Establish shared team understanding of selected issues & related facets (e.g., via focus group, panel, questionnaire, ideas box, etc.)
Step 3: Set priorities & action plan goals
Prioritise SELFIE Areas/items seen as requiring action, and define goals for pursuing improvements aligned to these priorities (eventual Phase 2 goals)
Develop SELFIE-based Action Plan
Step 4: Describe activities
For each goal set, design one or more “S.M.A.R.T.” activities, i.e., Specific, Measurable [outcomes], Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound (for details on S.M.A.R.T., see Step 4: Describe activities)
Step 5: Fine plan & set evaluation means
Flesh out activity designs by adding time frame, roles/responsibility, resources, success criteria, means for monitoring & evaluating activities.
Enact & Evaluate SELFIE-based Action Plan
Step 6: Set up & implementation
Activate participants, set up ‘implementation teams’, organize, gather materials, sustain active commitment of all, and start implementation of action plan.
Step 7: Monitor & evaluate action
Gauge ongoing progress towards Step 5 Success criteria using corresponding evaluation means. If needed, make adjustments to Step 4 & 5 outputs. Log activity outcomes regarding goals, participant performance, strengths & weaknesses, possible future improvements.
Guidelines And Resources
For each of the above Steps, the SELFIE PTK provides the school with a set of native guidelines & other support material in their own language that are in keeping with their own context, be it local, regional, or national. In addition to standard practical guidelines for reviewing SELFIE results, devising, enacting, and monitoring the school’s SELFIE-based Action Plan, supplementary scaffolding may include tailored CPD initiatives, active coaching, MOOCs, peer-learning, professional networking, access to and exchange of good practices, and so on.
Indeed, one of the key features of the SELFIE PTK is that its core set of default guidelines & support material can be adapted, and expanded, so that (a) it aligns with policy requirements, school organization demands, ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) initiatives etc., and (b) it provides truly effective support for devising and enacting the school’s SELFIE-based Action Plan. This flexibility is a key factor for supporting wide-scale adoption and effectiveness of the SELFIE PTK in different educational contexts and systems.