Digital Transformation in Education
Today, the new possibilities offered by technological developments and the wide scope of choices lead to the adoption of solutions that can offer each Organization augmented possibilities of communication, safe connection and interconnection between co-workers, partners and clients, with the aim to enhance accessibility and reduce valuable data violations. Cyber-security is now one of the main challenges of digital era.
All companies should use strong technological solutions that “unlock” new possibilities, in order to bring cloud intelligence and new data to areas where inter-connectivity is weak and insufficient.
Likewise, in an Educational Organization, all tasks and services offered should respond to the transformation taking place in Education worldwide. Let’s accept four assumptions that derive from the vision and functioning of modern Educational Organizations.
The scope of possibilities for students, parents and partners in the Organization has been widened due to the technological progress for the benefit of all parties involved.
The vision of Educational Organizations for better services offered is enhanced with innovative approaches in terms of methodology, structures, infrastructures and management.
Today, most Educational Organizations use various systems to cover the multifaceted needs of the groups involved, such as: Learning Management Systems (for students and educators), Student Management Systems (student record management), Parent Portal (informing and communicating with parents), Intranet (informing employees), File Servers, Mail servers, Timetable organizers, etc.
The smooth interconnection of all these different environments is not often an easy and successful procedure. Easy access from anywhere and for any task, according to credentials, is not always achievable. Access restrictions in operations and services are set by systems and not by the Organization’s policies.
The multiplicity of systems may produce problems in the creation and management of sensitive and extra-sensitive data. The storage capacity for the data produced is constantly increasing, while its cost is decreasing. The cost for the design, development and maintenance of different systems may also be another factor to be taken into consideration.
We are witnessing deep changes in the responsibilities and tasks assumed by all agents involved in the educational procedure. New roles are created to support the Organization’s educational and administrative services more accurately and therefore, more efficiently.
A proposal for a modern management environment in Education
If we take into consideration the above assumptions as well as the questions arising, it is evident that digital transformation and transition are necessary procedures today more than ever.
All parties involved should have access (with different credentials) in a single safe environment with no limits and restrictions in terms of the access point (geographic location), the type of device, the storage available and the communication possibilities, according to the rules set and adapted by the Organization, its needs and objectives.
This environment should include as much functions and services as possible for all the parties involved: Easy data analysis features (Analytics), Student academic reports possibilities (Academic Reports), Parent engagement systems (Parent Engagement), Student, teacher & partner assessment systems (Assessment Feedback and Reporting), Specialized task and events calendars, Notepads organizing records, Curriculum and task planning systems (Timetable Curriculum Planning), Clever tools of lesson and communication management (Class notebook, Planner, Teams, Outlook), Tools creating educational material (Sway, OneNote, Forms) and storing the material produced (OneDrive), Educational creation and experimentation environments (Minecraft education edition, Imagine academy).
User experience is enhanced by common procedures and interfaces applied for common functions. Simplified single access procedures and tools supporting education and data safety are equally important.
Moreover, one of the main objectives of the companies developing such tools is to reduce the cost of their products and services.
New roles emerge in Educational Organizations, together with the existing tasks that continue to evolve.
The Leadership draws a flexible Organization’s strategy, adaptable to changes, in order to monitor and support the implementation of plans.
Principals and directors focus on the design, implementation and follow-up of the selected actions.The CFO tries to secure the resources for the integration and implementation of these actions.The Director of Studies tries to integrate and adapt the pedagogical methods and the educational models selected to the educational procedure by motivating educators.The new role emerging today in Education is that of the Digital Technology Transformation Coordinator, who should have an expertise in the wide scope of New Technologies and a deep knowledge of the educational-pedagogical methodologies. His/her role is to try to “match” these two sectors for the benefit of all parties involved (students, educators, parents, and partners). He/she creates interdisciplinary lesson plans, projects and events and designs modern procedures to assess the goals obtained. He/she is the intermediate between educators and technicians to ensure the smooth integration of Technology into the educational procedure. He/she is regularly informed on evolutions and changes of pedagogical theories and technological solutions offered.Educators integrate technological changes into the educational procedure using interdisciplinary lesson plans, according to their life training and their unique experiences in terms of class management, educational material and objectives. They try to develop collaboration skills among their students and participate in group collaborative activities.The IT Manager is in charge of the technical equipment and infrastructure. He/she follows the progress and changes of technological solutions.
Microsoft Handbook for School Leaders