Mal Lee and Roger Broadie
Before embarking on your school’s digital evolutionary journey you need to know where you are and the likely path ahead.
The authors’ have developed an international measure that provides that facility. We’ve identified a now seven point evolutionary scale and a set of explanatory benchmarks that readily allows you, and vitally the wider school community to quickly adjudge the school’s current position on the continuum and the likely challenges ahead.
It is only indicative, but ‘precise’ enough for the planning. Importantly it is a tool all associated with the school can quickly and freely use – with no outlay to consultants.
The measure emerged out of own extensive research with the pathfinder schools and the recognition that schools globally were moving through the same evolutionary stages, and has been reinforced by the parallel research on complex adaptive systems and the digital transformation of business that identifies the key attributes in the evolutionary process.
It appears to matter not where the schools are located globally, whether small or large, primary or secondary, state, Catholic or independent or where they sit on the socio-economic scale.
At the present time we have identified seven major evolutionary stages. In time that number will grow.
The attributes of each are fleshed out at – http://www.digitalevolutionofschooling.net and within A Taxonomy of School Evolutionary Stages (Lee and Broadie, 2016).
At the Paper Based stage – the traditional school – the majority of the teachers have yet to use the digital technology in their everyday teaching and still rely on the pen, paper and the teaching board.
At the Early Digital stage a critical mass of the teachers, in the region of 70% plus, are using the digital in their everyday teaching and the pressure is on the remaining staff to make the shift.
By the Digital near on all teachers are using the digital technology in their everyday teaching, but the focus of the teaching is still primarily on what happens within the school walls, with the school unilaterally controlling all operations. Vitally when the school’s main operation – its teaching – goes digital, and is coupled to a largely digital administration the school moves to a digital operational base.
At the Early Networked stage the school begins to recognise the educational benefits of social networking in its widest sense, to reach out beyond the school walls and vitally begin genuinely collaborating with its homes and community.
By the Networked stage the school walls are coming down, the school is distributing the control of the teaching and learning, collaborating with its homes and community and vitally is willing to embrace BYOT and trust the students to use their own kit in class.
The Digital Normalisation stage sees the school having normalised the use of the digital technologies in every facet of its teaching and daily operations, created a tightly integrated, increasingly mature and higher order school ecosystem, social networking and is providing a mode of schooling largely antithetical to that of the traditional school.
With digital normalisation and the creation of a sophisticated and mature digitally based school ecosystem that transcends the old school walls and agrarian school timetable the school moves to a 24/7/365 Schooling stage, positioning the school to take advantage of the rapidly evolving digital and networked world and to move into historically unchartered waters.
Where does your school sit on this continuum?
Download the Taxonomy of School Evolutionary Stages if you would like to consider the fuller attributes of each of the stages.