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Strategic planning for online learning
Strategic planning for online learning

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2 Create an action plan

As we reach the end of the course, we now want you to carry out a self-evaluation of your leadership in a time of technological and educational change. It will help you to:

  • develop a vision and plan strategic actions to enhance digital resilience and capacity at your school
  • build the expertise you need to support your vision in online learning at your school
  • identify professional development needs that your senior leadership team may have

Before you complete the self-evaluation, you may wish to complete this school review tool and notes [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   and the Review your remote education provision and have the outcomes available to support you in this process.

You can complete this as an individual leader or a leadership team. You may want to discuss it with your trustees and governors, or with your HoDs in relation to distributed leadership. If you are assessing yourself as an individual, please bear in mind that it would be very unusual for all the qualities and capabilities required of digital leadership to be found in a single individual.

You can complete these 6 areas one at a time or altogether. You can then return to your answers to update your Action grid (only use this link if you haven’t already downloaded the file).

Area 1: Developing a digital environment in your school digital self evaluation

  1. Do you regularly visit other schools or are you involved in any external partnerships that allow you to learn from others?
  2. Do you follow digital leaders online?
  3. Do you participate in professional learning communities that deal with digital issues?
  4. Are you informed about current trends in:
    • Pupils’ expectations of their learning environment?
    • Employers’ requirements for digital skills and confident school leavers?
    • Technologies in professional practice?
    • Technologies for learning and teaching?
    • Efficiencies available to your school through the use of digital systems?
    • Assistive technology and the role of IT generally in supporting access and inclusions?
    • Sustainability and ‘green’ technology?

Area 2: Understanding technologies in use in your school audit

  1. Have you initiated or played a key role in a project to develop technology provision in the last six months?
  2. Have you adopted a new device, service or technology-based habit in the last two months?
  3. Do you participate in workshops on learning technology alongside teaching staff?
  4. Do you use the same digital environment that staff / pupils use?
  5. Are you informed by the current trends in technology?
    • Bring your own device (BYOD)
    • Learning analytics
    • Cloud-based services
    • Mobile learning
    • Online learning
    • Blended learning
    • Flipped learning
    • Open Educational Resources (OERs)
    • Digital badges
    • E-books and e-book readers
    • Social media
    • Media sharing
    • Wikis and blogs

Area 3: Engaging stakeholders and building a culture of change audit

  1. Do you model and inspire a positive attitude to technology?
  2. Do you celebrate the achievements of innovative teachers and give them advocacy roles within your school?
  3. Do you have an established forum for staff and pupils to be involved in decisions around online learning and learning technology?
  4. Have you ensured that Governors / Trustees understand the importance of online learning and the use of digital technology to the overall vision and achievements of your school?
  5. Are you working with employers to understand their digital needs and to explain what digitally capable school pupils can offer?
  6. Are your teaching staff following Ofsted’s guidance, resources and support for teachers on remote education?
  7. Do you engage with pupils on digital issues, for example, through surveys and focus groups, targeted pupil voice initiatives, gathering and responding to their ideas?
  8. Do you foster an environment in which staff feel safe to try new things and take risks?
  9. Do you have an ongoing framework for evaluating the impact of learning technologies on key measures (e.g. retention, progression and outcomes)?

Area 4: Developing a vision and relevant strategies audit

  1. Do you have a clear vision for the digital future of your school? What is it?
  2. Have you shared this vision with your school’s senior leadership team and heads of department and embedded it across different areas of responsibility (e.g. teaching resources, IT support)?
  3. Is learning technology an embedded strand in your Learning and Teaching Strategy?
  4. Have you empowered curriculum leads to develop their own plans for learning technology, appropriate to their subject areas?
  5. Does your IT Strategy provide an appropriate balance between security / control and innovation / exploration?
  6. Do you have a strategy for developing your digital estate (networks, hardware and software, also furnishings, rooms, storage and facilities that support digital ways of working and learning)?
  7. Do you have a forum for all stakeholders – including employers, governors, parents and carers and pupils – to share their experiences and to develop, review and update strategies?

Area 5: Building competencies and capabilities audit

  1. Do all your teaching staff have baseline digital competence and are they all on a progression path towards more advanced skills?
  2. Do teaching staff have opportunities (not assessed / reviewed) to explore digital technologies and try new approaches?
  3. Do teaching staff share ideas in professional learning communities, discussion lists, interest groups, teach meets, showcases or other regular forums?
  4. Do you involve professional staff (e.g. I.T.) alongside teaching staff in development opportunities?
  5. Is the use of digital technologies embedded in your initial teacher induction and CPD?
  6. Do you have a strategy for identifying, supporting and progressing pupils’ digital skills across the curriculum?
  7. Do you actively develop pupils as digital champions, supporting other pupils and staff?
  8. Do you use online resources to support pupil, staff and governor / trustee induction?
  9. Are you building capacity within your school for:
    • Data analytics (gathering and managing learning data but also interpreting and responding to it)
    • Content development
    • Online learning
    • e-assessment
    • Open content
    • Digital badges

Area 6: Decision making about the digital learning environment audit

  1. Are online, blended and mobile learning fully considered in all capital expenditure?
  2. Do you invest in technologies that are mature, meet an identified need and fit with your school’s value and mission?
  3. Do you have a rolling plan to upgrade IT e.g. upgrading networks or investing in additional bandwidth?
  4. Are your core systems designed and upgraded to meet the real needs of pupils and teaching staff?
  5. Do you work with innovative staff and pupils to understand their aspirations for the digital environment?
  6. Do you provide personal devices to staff and pupils where this will make a significant difference e.g. to redress digital inequalities, to support special needs?
  7. Do you have clear policies on e-safety, use of mobile devices in class (switch on / off), digital communications, ethical and fair use of your school’s systems and are they clearly communicated?
  8. Do you recruit/develop IT staff who understand the educational context and can work with people as well as systems?
  9. Are you working closely with and looking at shared solutions / services with other schools?