Embracing the future of education requires more than just adopting new tools; it demands a shift in mindset and approach.
Following a great meeting today with one of my British International School overseas clients that I’m supporting, I thought I’d pen some thoughts on embracing new technologies, digital strategy and leading these initiatives.
So, here are some thoughts on how we can lead the charge, inspired by my experiences, from leading one of the first iPad 1:1 initiatives to my work today having supported many schools, Trusts and school groups on their implementation and digital strategy journeys:
Venturing into new tech territories brings its challenges but opens doors to transformative benefits across schools. By focusing on my core objectives of reducing workload, enhancing teaching and learning, and addressing inequality, your digital strategy gains direction and purpose.
Of course, these are all part of my ‘why’ of why you’d want to embrace innovation, but there are other reasons beyond this.
Leadership in digital isn’t about tech expertise; it should be driven by a commitment to improve your school community with the right tools. Embracing innovation means leveraging your technology to not just meet but exceed your educational goals, demonstrating that the right approach can make all the difference.
Change begins with belief. Addressing doubts with evidence of success and the tangible benefits of technology in education can turn the tide.
Share stories of how tech has enhanced learning to build confidence in its value. Share in many places, from digital signage to staff briefings to corridor conversations – they all help in driving your digital strategy forward.
From the sceptic to advocate, so many now value audio feedback as made possible in so many tools, such as Mote, OneNote and many more.
AI has transformed lesson preparation (check out my little book for some ideas), there are so many workload-saving / improving teaching and learning opportunities, once you start to unpick the pressure points of teachers and learners, all of which will help to turn the most tech-sceptic educators to tech advocates.
Lead with Empathy:
I mean, we should be doing this anyway, regardless of whether technology is involved or not, but, understanding the human side of tech adoption is crucial.
Offer support, listen to concerns, and tailor training to meet educators where they are.
Empathy bridges the gap between resistance and acceptance, fostering a positive environment for change.
Recognise and amplify every victory, no matter how small.
Celebrating success not only motivates but also illustrates the impactful role of technology in enhancing education. Let these stories be the beacon that guides others.
Creating a culture where colleagues feel safe to try new things, built upon an infrastructure that works and supports their endeavours is key to success. Educators will feel more confident to take risks when they know that their safety net is one which will catch them if they fall.
Simple changes, like using my iPad as a visualiser, were revolutionary.
Alternatively, another impactful tool of live translated subtitles in presentations, like those available in PowerPoint can hugely support inclusion and break down language barriers in real-time, making lessons more accessible to EAL learners helping to foster a more inclusive classroom.
Likewise, embracing AI tools such as Mindjoy or RileyBot can dramatically shift our educational approach as discussed recently in my post about Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem – where students achieve two standard deviations better than conventional methods.
By integrating AI-driven platforms, we’re now able to offer tailored learning experiences at scale.
These tools adapt to each student’s learning pace, providing personalised feedback and support, mirroring the benefits of one-on-one tutoring.
This approach not only enhances learning outcomes but also makes education more inclusive and accessible, showcasing the profound impact of technology when directly addressing educational challenges.
Nurture a Future-Ready Mindset:
Over the years I’ve found that digital strategy and implementation is far more about about people than it is about technology. By carving out a space where everyone, teachers, students, and the wider school community, feels empowered to contribute and engage, success, and ultimately, competence, confidence and cognisance, are far more likely to follow.
By helping keep conversations going; in staff rooms, across corridors, and within our digital spaces, every question asked, every success shared, and every hurdle overcome together strengthens resolve and your strategy. It’s through these shared experiences we build a resilient, innovative, and inclusive educational environment for all, with technology supporting of course.
Remind yourselves that it’s okay to take small steps, to learn from each other, and to celebrate the little wins. Success takes time and is slow. Soon though your aggregated small wins make a big difference. Integrating technology is a marathon, not a sprint. And at the heart of it all, our shared commitment to nurturing a future-ready mindset will truly make a difference.
It’s never just about the tech; it’s about how we use it to make education better for everyone.