#274 – Managing Your School’s Digital Transformation
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What’s in this episode?
Digital Transformation! Digital Strategy! Professional Education! What do they mean, and how do we implement them in a school? In today’s episode we’re very lucky to have on three wonderful guests who operate at the intersection of educational practice and the leveraging of technology for a better learning experience. They are:
- James Symons, CEO, LocknCharge
- Katie Novak, Education Strategist, Smart Technologies
- Associate Professor Jane Hunter, School of International Studies and Education, University of Technology, Sydney
Each of these guests has a long history of working within the education space, from engineering and installing the hardware and catering to the evolving demands of schools, to leveraging the technology as a communal bridge between parents, teachers and students, and finally to researching and understanding the added value such technologies provide for teachers and learners and how they might successfully incorporate their use into daily practice.
Talking points and questions include:
- The evolving demands of the classroom – what futureproofing and future planning exists in each of your spaces to accommodate new trends and developments? For those catering to the hardware, does the school or college determine what you make, or are they, and the ways their teachers and learners perform, conditioned by you? What space is there for reciprocity between the EdTech maker and the EdTech user?
- Teacher professional education – how important is this? Surely a learning tool lives and dies by the amount of training and ‘after-sales support’ is provided to practitioners? What is the extent of the refusal by a teacher or department to adopt the technology and how is this overcome? Is it just waving statistics about time-saving and cost-saving in their faces or is there a form of trust that must be engendered?
- Digital strategy – this means different things to different stakeholders. What are the commonalities that should be agreed upon for successful rollout of technology? Obviously contextual factors are key to each school, but what are the non-negotiables? And with regard to developments like generative AI and other future trends we can’t even predict yet, what kinds of guardrails need to be in place with teachers, leaders, and the developers of the tech to ensure ongoing supportive relationships with stakeholders. What foundations should be in place to support digital transformation no matter the bumps in the road ahead?
Material discussed in today’s episode includes:
- LocknCharge classroom solutions to facilite mobile device workflow and management
- Improving Access & Outcomes Through Student & Teaching Voice: EdTech Assessment in the Cherry Hill Public Schools
- Australia and the Digital Education Revolution
- Jane Hunter: High Possibility STEM Classrooms and Technology Integration and High Possibility Classrooms
- Smart Technology: EdTech Assessment Tool
- Uruguay and Ceibal Project
James Symons – CEO, LocknCharge
James Symons joined PC Locs soon after his school teacher father started the business in Perth twenty five years ago out of the backyard shed. After running sales and marketing for the business, James took over as general manager in 2006. The rapid growth of the business required James to relocate to the US state of Wisconsin in 2012, where he established the US and European divisions of the business under the brand LocknCharge. James won the West Australian EY Entrepreneur of the year award in 2019 thanks to the incredible work of his team that now exceeds 100 people worldwide. LocknCharge products are today helping to manage over 4 million mobile devices worldwide, and has commercial relationships with some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Apple, Dell and Google.
Katie Novak – Education Strategist, Writer, Smart Technologies
Katie Novak is a global strategist, writer, and speaker focused on elements that connect us at our core – identity and our sense of self. She is passionate about education and the impact of connecting students to their learning in authentic ways. She brings her experience in museum and outdoor education, advocacy, and community building to each EdShift conversation.
Associate Professor Jane Hunter – School of International Studies and Education, University of Technology, Sydney
Dr Jane Hunter is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies and Education in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (FASS). Her theory-practice background is a strength as is her expertise in pedagogy, curriculum, practitioner inquiry, technology enhanced learning and teacher professional learning. In 2019 her research in NSW schools was awarded High Impact in the first Engagement and Impact Assessment by the Australian Research Council. This set of studies culminated in Jane’s second book: “High Possibility STEM Classrooms: Integrated STEM Learning in Research and Practice” (Routledge, 2021). Prior to her appointment to UTS in February 2016 she held leadership roles as a head teacher, senior officer in government bureaucracies in education policy and in large-scale technology innovation programs including the Teaching and Learning Exchange, the Connected Classrooms Program and Quality Teaching. She taught in teacher education at the University of Sydney for a number of years before a secondment to the Interim Committee for a NSW Institute of Teachers and the Australian Government Quality Teaching Program. From 2010 until early 2016 she was a unit coordinator in the Master of Teaching program at Western Sydney University.
Rose Luckin – Professor of Learner Centred Design, UCL, Founder, EDUCATE Ventures Research
Rosemary (Rose) Luckin is a Professor at University College London and Founder of EDUCATE Ventures Research (EVR) who has spent over 30 years developing and studying AI for Education. She is renowned for her research into the design and evaluation of educational technology and AI. She was named as one of the 20 most influential people in education in the Seldon List in 2017, the only non-US winner of the ISTE Impact Award, and one of Computer Weekly’s top 50 most influential women in technology for 2023. Rose regularly provides expert evidence to policymakers like the UK Parliament’s House of Lords and House of Commons select committees and the European Commission. Rose has published widely in academic journals, at international conferences, through books, and in news media (TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines). Her 2018 book, Machine Learning and Human Intelligence: The Future of Education for the 21st Century, has been translated into Mandarin and influenced many of China’s leading AI companies. Her most recent book, AI for School Teachers (2022), is an essential and accessible guide to AI for anyone in education.
Thanks and support
Thank you to the fans and educational community around the Edtech Podcast for their ongoing support and encouragement of our work. Let us know how we’re doing below!
Thank you so much to today’s sponsor: LocknCharge, an education-focused company who is revolutionising the way tech teams manage mobile devices in schools. As dependency on digital curriculum grows, LocknCharge solutions ensure students, teachers, and tech departments aren’t losing learning or working time due to uncharged, broken, or missing devices. From charging carts and stations to cloud-connected smart charging lockers, LocknCharge solutions provide instant access to ready-to-use devices any time they are needed. Get in touch by visiting www.lockncharge.com, and learn how your school or district can save time, money and resources.
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