Education

Three ways to embed a digital culture in your school

Creating a digital culture in any organisation is less about technology (much of that is shared, and the best is intuitive to use), but it is about culture. That culture is about a willingness to experiment, to take responsibility for new approaches, to support people as they learn new skills, but to be firm about where the boundaries are.
There’s three ways you can start to create such a culture:
Encouragement
The best licence to do something is to go ahead and do it. You need to encourage the development of new approaches. You could bring in a series of guest speakers to speak to both the teaching and student bodies; set up ‘hack days’ with local developers to build new teaching tools; contribute and even host conferences on digital learning – become part of an educational digital learning community. This kind of collaboration is also a licence to individual teachers.
Tools and technical help
You can’t do a hack day if the wifi doesn’t work, if there’s no in-house APIs or content to work with or if there’s no support. Teachers are there to teach and while some will innovate, you will also need a small enclave of professional and amateur coders and developers to help develop the platform, create or re-format content and so on. These would best be pulled together by a semi-formal group of ICT/digital teachers. It probably already exists and can be put to good use.
Boundaries
Teachers will need to know when they’ve crossed a line – exposing too much pupil data to public view, perhaps, or crossing boundaries on social media. The boundaries are exactly the same on digital as off-line, but a working document about what you expect (including social media policy especially) would be a useful way of making sure that problems encountered are ones of implementation not privacy law…
And finally you need luck, patience, persistence and a little nerve. Good luck…

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1 Comment
  • Eamon Walsh (@Eamon_Walsh1) Mar 28,2015 at 7:28 pm

    Good to see that you considered the ‘boundaries’ of data disclosure in this day and age of data privacy and IoT cutting ever so close to our personalized information (here, pupil data). Another aspect which impedes digital culture in schools is thinking ‘mobile first’ and an approach towards cross platform functionalities,refining existing talent, and targeting the vendor consolidation, apps and native support for students who are increasingly attuned to portable devices. – bit.ly/1CJh8ds – commenting on behalf of IDG and Kony

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