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GCSE and GCE results day is a tense time for all involved. Whilst 900,000 pupils are anticipating their results from OCR and their centres get ready for the day, OCR is preparing its support and our Contact Centre received over 5,500 calls during the four days of results and restricted results, with callers waiting on average 16 seconds before receiving support.
This is not the only way we offer support. Every year more and more turn to social media for our support, and whilst we don’t have the following of Kanye West with his 14 million followers on Twitter, the 300 more following us after results day are warmly welcomed. Though according to a recent blog by the LSE on influence in social media (questioning the influence of Kanye), numbers should not be our focus ~ not that it has been, as this is not the same as measuring the quality of support.
The blog describes three categories of individuals within a social network, and whilst the blog is about influence, the same model could apply to supporting teachers via social media.
Those in the B category are well connected in a close community and in our experience tend to be well supported by their close peers and colleagues. The A’s flitter and flutter (excuse the Twitter pun) and are quick to search out the best networks to get support, and are very efficient at finding and utilising support channels.
It is the C’s that concern us the most, particularly in times of significant change such as qualification reform, as for whatever reason they don’t feel part of the flock. They are on the periphery and often don’t know where to go to for support, and I wonder how many of them are part of the growing number of supply teachers and non-specialist teachers. Whilst we could target the others, particularly the B’s and their influence, it is the C’s that are getting our attention during this turbulent period of change with new GCSEs and GCEs introduced this September.
This is why we set up subject specific Twitter accounts in preparation for the new GCSEs and GCEs, which are managed by our Subject Specialists, who are mainly ex-teachers, are experts in their subjects, and are on hand to support. Our @OCR_Maths account has seen a 66% increase in followers over the last year, with 1,500 followers receiving regular support from our Maths team of eight subject experts, including support in preparing to teach the new GCSE Maths from this September. Go to @OCR_English to hear about our exciting free resources to support the new GCSE or @ocr_ict to find out about our work with Codio to support coding.
If you don’t like or understand social media, our support doesn’t end there. Over 850 schools, colleges and training providers attended our teacher network events across the country last year, whilst 1,500 teachers attended our new GCSE and GCE expo events, and you can find out more about our programme of face-to-face support at www.cpdhub.ocr.org.uk.
And remember Buzby came before Twitter, so you can always call us for support on 01223 553998.
Liam Sammon - Director of Education and Commercial Services
Liam is responsible for the support to the 7,000 education centres and 1.5 million candidates taking OCR qualifications every year. His remit covers the full spectrum of OCR’s support from promotion, preparing to teach, teaching and learning, and results. This includes marketing and communications, events, PR, sales, social media, OCR’s call centre, centre support in the field via OCR’s field force, teaching and learning resources, teacher training, and OCR’s website. He also leads on education technology for OCR, including eLearning and OCR’s expanding range of digital services.