When it comes to digital transformation in education, there is a lot that schools can do to enhance student success. However, knowing where to start can be difficult. Fortunately, there are practical steps that can be taken to ensure that schools, students, teachers, and education leaders are making the most of a modern, digitally saturated world.
The Microsoft Education Guide helps shed light on this. Microsoft has made it easier for schools to undertake many of the key IT administration tasks required by schools; from defining internet usage agreements to choosing devices, applying software suites, educating about appropriate online behaviour, utilising digital tools for engagement and not entertainment…and so much more. The first step for any educator is to ensure that they know what digital tools they have, what they want, and where they want to go with it. Andrea Richardson, a teacher engaged with the Microsoft K-12 Education program emphasises this by saying “if you nail down the IT details early on with students and parents, things go more smoothly later.”
Microsoft approaches digital transformation in education in five distinct phases. Each phase has its own benefits, which are realised throughout the adoption journey. This culminates in a fully integrated platform that can be leveraged from long-lasting and compelling outcomes.
Phase 1: Credentials.
Credentials refer to unique secure sign-in IDs for a central digital learning ecosystem. This ecosystem exists throughout a school community and is hosted in a secure cloud environment. With a single environment, issues such as licensing and synchronisation are reduced and management is streamlined. This phase begins with a school’s IT team, or a designated IT support resource, setting up a new system and distributing sign-in details. All users will have the same experience regardless of the device they use, and schools can tailor their rollout, management, and resources according to their budget and needs.
Phase 2: Office365
Office365 is a learning and teaching suite with customised education features that can be used by teachers, students, and school leaders. It enables staff and students to collaborate across multiple channels and provides access to essential tools like Word and Powerpoint. It also utilises new tools such as Teams, Class Notebook, Sway, and Stream. After Phase 1, all users can access the core set of tools with a single sign in and utilise their applications for learning, communication, and collaboration.
Phase 3: Administration
Schools in a digital era need a single, integrated system for an administration that incorporates finance, student administration, academic management, attendance, wellbeing, reporting, staff management, and more. Phase 3 gives schools a holistic picture of staff and student administration in real time. The result is saved time, resources, and money – allowing schools to focus on the things that matter.
Phase 4: Insights and Empowerment
Digital transformation should be leveraged to empower schools and provide insight into their progress. Microsoft enables this by delivering analytics dashboards that can be used by staff and the school. With visualised data, leaders can track and manage the improvement across their campus and enables real-time data on everything from wellbeing to performance. This allows for benchmarking against other schools and enables a better understanding of what can be done to enhance student success.
Phase 5: Portal
The Microsoft Portal can be tailored for each school and their community. Providing a personalised window into the integrated schools and technologies being utilised by a school, it gives critical insights, recommendations, and updates to school leaders. For teachers, it helps streamline responsibilities – including attendance, curriculums, and pans. It can also be used to springboard class resources, and even leverage mobile applications for grading and attendance. It is a one-stop access point for educators and a place where parents can come to engage with their children’s reports, enrollments, fees, news, and more. Leaders can even use their portal to perform a big picture assessment of ongoing performance and administration.
Digital transformation in schools does not have to be a drawn out affair. Every campus is different, and it is vital for school leaders to understand the impact of their digital investments across their campus. At MOQdigital, we help our clients make the most of a modern market – and ensure that your education solutions are the cornerstone for student success. Contact us to find out more.