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Strategic planning for online learning
Strategic planning for online learning

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Session 2: Building competencies

Introduction

In this session on building competencies, you will explore how you support the digital development of teaching and professional staff, and examine how the school develops pupils’ own digital skills as resources for learning, as well as the competencies of parents and carers.

However you see your school thriving as a digital school, that vision can only be delivered by skilled staff. Digital skills are not confined to specialists, although digital enthusiasts and experts are hugely valuable to digital innovation and planning within the school. Many of the school leaders interviewed in a recent study (Baxter, Floyd and Jewitt, 2022) identified one or more digital champions within their schools: people who were happy to build enthusiasm and advise on digital strategy.

A photograph of a classroom with lots of different learning resources on the wall.
Figure 1: Introduction

In order for any digital strategy to be effective, skills need to be integrated into the day-to-day professional practice of all staff, whatever their subject area or role.

Pupil-facing staff need to understand how digital technologies can support day-to-day learning habits as well as subject-specific practices. This involves understanding the prior knowledge and experience of pupils

So that you can digitally plan for the future, any technologies must feed into the ways that teaching staff need to keep up to date with new approaches in the classroom and new ways of using technology to support and record learning, wherever it takes place. Staff with responsibility for the IT environment need to be aware of how it is being used for teaching and learning, and to appreciate the value of innovation and specialisation as well as safety and standardisation experiences from their use of digital technologies. Some of these may need to be adapted and progressed if they are to support the independent learning demanded of them at school level. But in other ways - such as their use of digital media (images, video, animations and apps) and their habits of sharing and collaborating online - pupils have much to show us. Pupils also expect to leave school with skills for employability. Digital skills, evidence of digital outcomes, and an e-portfolio to show what they have learned, are all vital to what the school experience can offer. Parents and carers also need support in developing digital skills to support their children in online learning (you may want to refer back to your notes from Session 1, Section 1.1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] reading of the NP3 report).

Session 2 covers:

  • Developing digital capabilities for all stakeholders.
  • Identifying and mapping practice, preferences and opportunities.
  • Building capacity and resilience.
  • Change management strategies to support stakeholders.
  • Addressing barriers and supporting cultural change and staff development.