Investing in a digital future
The first commitment of the seven-year Schools Digital Strategy is to ensure rural, regional, and remote schools are brought up to the digital equivalent of their metropolitan counterparts through its Rural Access Gap program.
A key component of that is the DMP which will help these schools identify and deliver technology and resources to support their continuous improvement.
Before the end of 2022, 1000-plus schools will receive the benefits of more than $365 million of Digital Restart Fund investment.
Leveraging technology for better student outcomes
For the Rural Access Gap program to improve access to and use of technology so that students achieve improved outcomes, we need to assess each school’s digital maturity.
As best practice for using technology can differ between schools, we ensure school leaders and staff are central to that process. We understand they are the experts in terms of their school's context, and time with quality educators is the most crucial element for improving student outcomes.
These elements are embedded in the DMP, which was co-designed with Principals and school leaders. As a result, the tool provides the initial assessment to help delivery of the program, limits the administrative burden, and reduces the number of school engagements by one third.
How the Digital Maturity Planner works
The DMP is the digital concierge that scales assessment of digital maturity and recommends next steps of a school’s digital transformation.
The tool guides school leaders to consider what 'good use' of technology looks like and provides them with the resources to plan and implement improvements. Integrated into the school engagement process, the DMP consists of three elements:
Digital Context Card
A unique data dashboard that shows the current digital context of a school.
Digital Maturity Survey
A series of questions to determine a school's level of digital maturity which is aligned to the department's Schools Excellence Framework.
Digital Maturity Planner
A tool to help school leaders plan their digital development using a personalised set of resources based on the answers provided in the survey.
Preparing a Digital Action Plan with school leaders
As part of the process, school leaders work with key school staff to validate the digital context data and answer 24 questions in the Digital Maturity Survey. This point-in-time assessment provides the basis for in-depth conversation with the Digital Support Team (DST).
The result is the Digital Action Plan which, tied to school strategic goals, is housed in the DMP, and implemented by school staff with support and mentoring from the DST.
One of the keys attributes of the DMP is that it is always evolving in terms of usability and functionality. The lessons learned from its implementation also inform the development of other school assessment and planning platforms.
Our focus now is on delivering more extensive resource content into the planner to ensure that it remains a useful, usable tool for school leaders and the program.