Digitally enabling a workforce is more than just delivering staff development sessions. It requires an ongoing strategic and managed process that embraces all aspects of organisational operation.
By adopting a 'built-in digital' approach at all levels of the organisation a culture of technology use can be developed. This in turn helps to dispel reservations and builds familiarity with using different technologies.
What you can do
Using digital technology can provide efficiencies in many everyday work situations.
In meetings this might be through the collection and sharing of ideas and information, the live analysis of performance from information systems, or directly accessing shared project management data. In curriculum development the use of the cloud and online spaces can enable more efficient production, review and implementation of new or revised resources and programmes.
Adopt inclusive practices
Using digital technologies to deliver an inclusive student experience through the adoption of inclusive practices will provide additional process efficiencies and enhance the student digital experience. This in turn will have a positive impact for all learners.
Identify appropriate technologies
Realising the vision of a digitally enabled workforce requires actually identifying and using appropriate technologies to build knowledge in their safe and effective use. In many respects the approaches used to build the digital skills of work-based learners can usefully be adopted for supporting staff in their organisational roles.
Jisc has initiated many lines of support for developing digital capability for both learners and staff, and welcome your involvement. We have also produced a range of development resources to support you.
Connect using social media
If you are part of a geographically dispersed workforce you may consider using social and communication media that will encourage your staff to become more connected. In this case it is recommended that a social media policy for staff is in place, and that staff have adequate support in understanding e-safety issues to ensure they remain safe while online.
Prepare for BYOD
With more staff using their own devices for work, organisational, social and personal barriers might need to be replaced with enablers such as an embracing management approach and a supporting network infrastructure.
A culture of self-development should be encouraged that enables staff to adapt programme delivery in line with current best practices for learner engagement. To this end, awareness of the relevant professional standards should be promoted:
- Education and Training Foundation (ETF) Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Education and Training – England
- The Scottish Government Professional Development of Lecturers – Scotland
- Llywodraeth Cymru Professional Standards for Teachers, Tutors and Trainers in the Lifelong Learning Sector in Wales and related application guides
- General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) Professional Competences
- Higher Education Academy (HEA) UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF)
Keep focused on what you are trying to achieve for your learners and your organisation, and where the barriers and bottle-necks to achieving those aims are.