Developing Digital – Guide and Toolkit  for Senior Leaders


Initial thinking for this guide came from responses and reactions to the Independent School  Bursars Association ( ISBA) survey of 2018, which also framed the content of the Brighton Edtech Summit of 2019, held jointly between the ISC Digital Strategy Group, Education Foundation and supported by a range of industry partners.

The insight and contributions of educators, senior leaders and Edtech companies help us share real areas of promise across institutions. The work of the Chartered College, EEF and schools involved in the Edtech 50 provide a rich mix of education practice. The work of large companies like,Apple, Google and Microsoft and the work of the growing Edtech sector in the UK suggest a need to develop a common language that prioritises mutual partnership to develop the understanding of digital.

The Developing Digital guide also contains some lessons distilled from the on-going Covid-19 crisis – which saw short term and fast adoption of Edtech to meet immediate need.  This ’emergency’ adoption cycle can have positive benefits for whole organisations.


The Developing Digital Leadership Bulletin published by the ISC Digital Group and Edtech UK distilled early lessons for schools ahead of closures across England. Lessons on remote Teaching and learning during the pandemic were shared with leaders and was informed by a working group of educators and the insights from Mark Steed, Kellet School, Hong Kong, who were further into ‘lockdown’. Peer to peer insights and sharing of experience is invaluable.

Partnership work broadened and developed, producing,Protecting Learning how educators and parents are supporting student learning during Covid-19′. The report produced by the Home Learning UK ad-hoc group shared global good practice for educators and parents. A series of recommendations focussed on access to devices, imaginative school responses centred on well-being and the need for a coherent policy response across Government.


Your SIX Pack for Success

Successful digital projects tell a consistent story, which this guide distills into six key areas:

1. Create an inclusive digital Vision to support teaching and learning in your school and develop Digital Intelligence (DQ) – read how other schools achieved this and why they find ongoing auditing vital.
2. Actively Manage success by tracking project progress. Edtech 50 schools and the ISC Digital Group share how schools have transferred and scaled-up digital success.
3. Continuous Profesional Development (CPD) is needed throughout a project – bitesize, diverse to meet all needs certificated, on-going and audited.
4. Maximising benefits and value by planning for seamless, and secure Infrastructure with in-house or external support.
5. Safeguarding of children, data, systems at every step – better planned than bolted on.
6. Building Partnerships with third parties helps schools reach goals with consistent and reliable infrastructures. This guide suggests the right questions and outcomes to monitor for obtaining mutually respectful partnerships.

Developing Digital

We are delighted to be editors of the ‘Developing Digital a Guide and Toolkit  for Senior Leaders’.

I’ve been involved in IT in education for over 30 years now.  We have come a long way in the last 30 years, but we have come a very long way using technology in education in the last 3 months.

I want to do 3 three things

  1. Celebrate you the people who are making IT work in education.
  2. Tell you how the Guide is being used
  3. Tell you what is coming next.

1. What has changed?  – It’s the people. You, The people working in education who better understand how you want tech to make a difference but most important you the people in companies large and small who are here listening and prepared to invest in iterating, to create real solutions that make a difference for everyone.

It is the increasingly effective relationships you are all building, to provide consistent and reliable inclusive platforms, that will enable us to build a new pedagogy to reduce costs, enhance the learning process, reduce teacher workload and help increase student responsibility.

We have just taken part in the largest ever, unplanned, Global action research project for using technology in education. We will now need to take stock of what we have learned from the last 3 months, particularly our ability to collaborate, cross phase, cross sector and internationally. Have a look at our Blog Learning from COVID-19.

2. This guide and Six Pack are being used now in schools as a reference, a guide, an almanac, a toolkit to help you as a school on your own, if you have the expertise or with a critical friend who has experience developing digital, to help you use digital so it is inclusive, supporting teaching and learning and helping prepare our young people for a future that none of us can imagine.

In this future they will need digital intelligence (DQ) – Simply knowing when to put the phone down and when to pick it up and use it collaborating to solve problems effectively as empathetic global citizens.

You know your schools and what you are trying to achieve.  Using this guide, you will be able to look at how other schools like you are developing digital so you can transfer and scale digital success.  Each section has examples of schools like yours developing digital, lists of resources that these schools have used and checklists to take you step by step through the process

3. Download your copy of  Developing Digital or flick through the Guide in ISSU and use your Guide and toolkit to help you assess where you are and where you want to be this time next year.

Here is a link to the SlideShow from the developing digital Launch

You may need to change your settings to allow the pdf to access the links. More help here.

Here is the link to Mark Steed’s session.

Our Next event will hopefully be face to face in November – The Brighton EdTech Summit & Festival 2020

Let me know if you want to get involved in this?


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