Digital Classroom Officer

Learn more about what a Digital Classroom Officer (DCO) does and how they are supported and funded.

The DCO program is an opportunity for Rural Access Gap schools to nominate a teacher who supports the staff of their school to embed technology into teaching and learning. To date, more than 500 DCOs have been identified across schools in the program.

A DCO does not need to be a ‘technology guru’ as they are supported by a mentor, a group of DCOs from similar schools, and provided with dedicated professional learning throughout the year.

The primary role of a DCO is to support the upskilling of staff. By having a dedicated member of staff, they are aiming for sustainable improvement and their support being contextual to the needs of the school, bringing them along on a journey of digital transformation.

As important is their ability to relate well to all staff and accommodate their different learning journeys while exhibiting excellent classroom pedagogy.

The role of a DCO is to bring school staff along on a journey of digital transformation.

Lincoln McBroom:

As a Digital Classroom Officer, my role is to support teachers in embedding STEM and IT resources authentically within curriculum areas as well as to support them in relation to workflow and working efficiently, working well collaborating as teams to improve learning in a school environment.

Penelope Zell:

I really see it as though you're like the middle man between the department and all this amazing tech knowledge and resources and the school.

Amy Brown:

I'd describe the role as finding and implementing the technology needs of the school and staff helping up-skill staff to feel comfortable to use it within the classroom and within their general programming and planning.

Tim Cassell:

You don't need to be someone who is okay with all components of ICT and digital technologies. You just need to be willing to play with it and trial it yourself and therefore coach other people from what you've learned.

Hailee Fidock:

It's a very diverse role, so it's from rolling out technology devices to giving support in the classroom, as well as running quick bite sessions in the morning.

Scott Sampson:

My role as a Digital Classroom Officer has been one of guidance with a lot of staff.

Jacob Sandry:

The buy-in that I've had from some teachers has been a really big success. Teachers are coming to me now and going "oh I did this and it worked really well!" and then "Oh that's great, what can we do next, and how can we use that somewhere else" so that's been really good.

Beverley Nancarrow:

The Digital Classroom Officer role will just open up so much more, and time to really help train and support the teachers more so it won't just be about infrastructure.

I'm looking forward to the actual implementation and the improvement of technology use right across the school.

Hailee Fidock:

I think one of the best pieces of advice I could give to somebody who's taking on this role is that you're not expected to be an expert, you are learning.

You're on this learning journey with your staff.

Penelope Zell:

For someone that was taking on this role in another school, I would strongly encourage them to learn as much as they can like take advantage of what's on offer.

There are all these amazing resources and the mentorship and no one makes you feel dumb which is really wonderful, and really use that DCO time to learn how to make the technology learning authentic in the classroom.

Lincoln McBroom:

My advice for any DCO coming into this role in future is go for it. Jump in the deep end, be scared of nothing because there's heaps of support from mentors, the network of DCOs, the resourcing is there in regards to curriculum and project planning. The T4L library is vast and there are lots of great people who are happy to get on board and help you.

You don't need to have a high-end skill level in IT or STEM to do a DCO role well.

[End of transcript]

What will a DCO do?

  • Capture the needs and skills of staff in order to embed technology into teaching and learning.

  • Develop and deliver targeted professional learning through a variety of means including co-teaching, lead demonstration lessons, collaboratively plan for the integration of technology across all Key Learning Areas.

  • Use documentation such as the Digital Action Plan to support the Principal with school planning.

  • Provide regular, succinct feedback to the Digital Support Team (DST).

  • Capture and share examples of strong classroom practice and pedagogies with the DST, and other DCOs to create a sustainable community of practice.

How is a DCO supported?

A DCO will be supported by a dedicated mentor and group of DCOs from similar schools who will meet regularly and provide guidance and support, ensuring a customised approach to digital transformation.

They will receive ongoing professional learning throughout the year in a range of applications relevant to their school context.

How DCOs are leading digital transformation

Wallerawang Public School DCO Beverley Nancarrow said technology is ‘crucial to prepare our students for the future’.

“Not only do they (students) need the skills but independence so they can take themselves to the next step,” she said. “(Under the Rural Access Gap) we’re super excited with the increase in devices and how we can expand that and improve students' learning.”

Wallerawang PS is embedding technology in their planning, teaching and learning.

Ryan, DST member:

Hi, I'm Ryan, one of the teachers from the Digital Support Team. I'm here today at the beautiful Wallerawang Public School to start my work with Jenny the principal and mentoring Beverley, the Digital Classroom Officer.

Let's hear what Jenny has to say about the Schools Digital Strategy.

Jenny Lamborn, Principal:

I'm Jenny Lamborn. I'm the Principal of Wallerawang Public School. Digital at Wallerawang Public School over the last couple of years we've actually introduced technology across all the classrooms and actually embedded it into our school planning process.

So through the digital strategy we completed the Digital Maturity Planner and we were able to actually identify our areas of strength in terms of the school planning process and look at what we needed to do in terms of working towards those excelling statements.

So in terms of what is occurring within the digital strategy and the support that we're going to receive and the technology that we will receive that will continue to actually build technology across the school. And it will also support what's happening in terms of teaching, learning, and leadership within Wallerawang Public School.

Beverley Nancarrow, DCO:

I see digital technology as crucial to prepare our students for the future, not only do they need the skills but they need to have that independence so that they can use what they already know with their technology level and then take themselves to the next step. So that they can have those abilities to advance themselves and we've been really trying to implement that here at the school.

But with the Rural Access Gap coming in, we're super excited to just increase the number of devices that we have to just expand that in greater ways and improve the students’ learning.

Jenny Lamborn, Principal:

So the Digital Classroom Officer role will continue to support the school in terms of what we're doing. It will continue the person and the program will continue to support us in terms of our school planning and in terms of our new school planning cycle. So what we've been able to actually do in terms of planning for that is embed that role into our school planning in terms of the resource allocation and what that actually looks like in terms of teaching, leading and learning.

Beverley Nancarrow, DCO:

We're very excited here at the school about the Digital Classroom Officer role because I've had the support of the principal and executive here. The Digital Classroom Officer role will just open up so much more and time to really help train and support the teachers more so it won't just be about infrastructure.

I'm looking forward to the actual implementation and the improvement of technology use right across the school.

Ryan, DST member:

So I'm super excited to start the journey with Wallerawang Public School, help Beverley and Jenny uplift the technology within their school and really work on their ability to utilise that technology effectively in their classrooms.

[End of transcript]

Learn more

For more information about the DCO program, email schoolsdigitalstrategy@det.nsw.edu.au.

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