Digital Learning success for Highland Council schools and staff
The Highland Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland recognised to develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub, which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning.
Prior to Covid-19, we had an estate of 27,000 Chromebooks that were already a part of our ICT in Learning Strategy. During lockdown, our Education Improvement Team has been leading the way in the development of our digital learning platform, allowing pupils to transition to learn remotely from home using G-Suite tools on Chromebooks. G-Suite is a free collection of productivity tools offered by technology company Google and includes Google Docs, Gmail, Google Classroom, Google Meet, Hangouts and many more.
The success of our digital learning platform during lockdown is shown in the engagement data from G-Suite. In the period starting the week before lockdown to the week beginning the 18 April when we were in full quarantine, we can see an incline of users on various tools. The average amount of active google classrooms per week nearly doubled within the 3-week period and we saw an increase of 1944 users on the platform the very first week of lockdown.
897 Highland staff seized the opportunity to improve their digital skills by taking part in a three-tiered essential skills training programme led voluntarily by education staff. A number of those who completed all the levels now have the view to go on and complete the google certified courses.
The success of our digital learning platforms and training opportunities demonstrates that the inclusion of digital tools in our curriculum is not a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but instead, a way in which to support the education of children and young people in Highland.