We’ve been thinking about how we can best support schools to embrace all the opportunities digital offers.
We’ve done tons of one-off CPD sessions. Teachers have gone away genuinely excited by the possibilities but we have nagging doubts as to how much impact they will have in the long term: people are busy; other priorities come up; we all know how it goes…
Digital Strategies must be linked to existing improvement priorities
When it comes having real impact, there is no doubt in our minds that a considered digital strategy works best. A whole-school approach with shared objectives and a clear vision that’s tied to existing priorities. What are your existing development priorities? If parental engagement is a focus, then let’s explore apps and web technologies that can involve parents in learning. Let’s look at how we can extend the reach of the classroom and share everyday activities with parents.
Raising Attainment and closing the Poverty Attainment Gap is a priority for every school in Scotland.
It is clear that digital engages our children and young people. There is no better motivator to develop a digital strategy than that of providing more engaging learning content and activities. Our learners go to Youtube to learn anything they want to know. They inhabit a world of high definition digital imagery that is Instagram beautiful and Snapchat captivating. Their world is gamified by likes and follows and gratification is instant.
What if learning content could be just as engaging? What if the activities of the classroom could be re-designed to maximise productivity and solve problems collaboratively? What if we could provide stunning digital learning content that is available from anywhere at anytime and helps parents to support their children outside of school?
Achieve more with fewer resources
Technology has revolutionised our lives and we are beyond the stage of weighing up the pros and cons. It is saving time and money and allowing us to do things that would not have been possible before. Digital is changing the way we live and the simple fact of the matter is that it allows us to achieve more with fewer resources.
From self-scan checkouts at supermarkets to self check-ins and bag drops at airports, technology is automating tasks that would have relied upon staffing before now.
And maybe that’s a great way to start thinking of a digital strategy for your school…
How might we automate or improve some of the activities of school by using digital tools and apps rather than physical resources and time?
Here’s a starter list that could help thinking around a whole-school approach:
We can inspire and engage our learners by creating bespoke and high definition/interactive learning content that is much more powerful than black and white photocopies. Apps enable anyone with limited design or technical skills to do this. It saves time and it saves money but it also produces more engaging learning content.
We can make this high quality learning content available 24/7 from any place at any time. We can extend the scope and reach of the delivery of learning content so that it is ‘always-on’ and available from the mobile devices pupils carry everywhere. The same cannot be said of books and photocopied notes.
We can use apps to engage parents in the life of the school and activities of the classroom. Teacher/parent messaging is instant and saves time/ helps support and nurture learners.
We can use project management strategies and apps/online tools to manage learning projects that allow for individualised learning. We can set challenges and learning outcomes and check-in on progress using online collaborative spaces.
We can have learners collaborate to solve problems using online tools to facilitate sharing and help us work together to achieve more than we could individually.
We can gamify our classrooms with badges, achievements and progress boards that motivate learners with proven strategies that video games use.
We can connect classrooms around the world to develop global citizenship in a way that simply would not have been possible before now.
We can bring any kind of expertise to our learners via online tools, social media and video content and not have to pay for trips and excursions or visits from experts. Virtual reality will take that to a whole other level!
Tablet Academy Scotland’s Digital Strategy Packages provide a year-long support package for staff CPD, parent sessions, in-class learning experiences, management and teacher planning, staff and pupil skills audits.
Our Digital Strategy Packages offer sustained support that could help your school achieve this kind of transformation through developing a considered strategy that develops digital ways of working across multiple development priorities.
Get in touch to set up a no-obligation initial meeting where we can discuss some ideas for developing a digital strategy for your school.