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The ten key ingredients to prepare your school for digital learning

Technology

The ten key ingredients to prepare your school for digital learning

Any school that is looking to change its approach to learning and adopt digital tools needs to change two things – the technology and the culture. Apart from that, it’s a piece of cake.

A school’s leadership needs, in part at least, in order to be able to offer education across digital media and, in doing so, create different models for education delivery beyond the classroom. It needs to transform the way it looks at delivering education, not just to offer a digital alternative to the traditional model, but also to give students exposure to mechanisms of learning they will use throughout their adult working lives.

But where to start? Any of the above requires a range of key ingredients – some of these your school may already have (but may need to do better), some of these you may not have at all. A bespoke mix of the following will be what it takes to get your school going digital:

Platform: A digital platform that allows for your school to adapt it to your own needs; intuitive for the user while containing the functional needs of parents, student and teachers.

Content: Content on that platform that meets and anticipates those needs. This content will come from the curation of quality content on the web, the signing of school-wide licencing deals and the creation of bespoke school content.

Format: A policy on formatting which understand the digital habits of pupils, teachers and parents

Digital Professional Development: A program of PD for teachers which encourages them to adopt digital methodologies and encourages them to do so.

Digital culture: The creation of a culture of innovation and experimentation to allow the digitally savvy to develop their own digital work, with a network to share that best practice.

IT needs: A program of needs analysis with your IT team to enable them to equip schools with the capacity to deliver digital education.

Digital curriculum: A program to develop a digital curriculum for pupils to set accepted standards on devices, formats, storage, behaviour and so on.

Data: The long-term adoption of better data gathering on attendance, performance, achievement etc to create data profiles of pupils to better personalise and incentivise, and gamify, their education.

Partnerships: Your school is new to the market – to fast-track understanding, you could make partnerships with companies large and small to facilitate speedier delivery of projects

Reputation: A newly digitised school needs to change its external reputation to one of a digitally aware company. Much of this comes from delivering rather than talking about it.

If you get the mix right for your school, you’ll be on your way – but nothing more. As technology changes the way education is delivered, it’s going to be a long ride, but every digital journey starts with a single click.

Off you go…

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Jimmy Leach is a digital consultant, working with governments, organisations and people. He tweets at @JimmyTLeach

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