Digitalization: what can schools learn from the corporate world

15 Mar, 2017

The corporate world is a good resource for schools and education sector when talking about digitalization. Many tools and methods have already been implemented in the offices same way as they will be implemented in schools.

Cloud services

The cloud services are extremely flexible and useful for sharing and storing information. When “the cloud” is in use, the schools do not necessarily need to decide which devices will be used, And the work can be continued and saved anytime and anywhere mostly independent of the device.

One well functioning example of the cloud services in Finnish schools is Padlet and home economics classes: the 7th graders have been very motivated (in general) to do their cooking home work and post the photos of their meals in Padlet according to the teachers instructions.

When taking a cloud service to use it’s important to make an explicit selection and make sure it works for all the students without problems. This will teach the kids one technology that will most likely be in use when the enter the work life.

Old habits die hard

Taking digital teaching methods and materials into use is a big change in schools for teachers and students. Implementing a change requires motivation as people like to stick to the routines.

Corporations have a long history of implementing changes or taking new methods and technologies into use. We can find examples there for successful introduction of new ways of working. The students may be “Snapchat-masters”, but it doesn’t mean that all digital things are familiar to them.

Successful change implementation projects are many (as well as unsuccessful ones): changing internal communications from email to chat-type tools (like Slack) or taking electronic work reporting tool into use instead of manual system may serve as examples. Another one could be implementing CRM system for sales people that have earlier considered the customer information as their property.

Sharing the best practices

There are a lot of new teaching methods and materials available, and it may be hard for teachers and corporate workers to know what method or tool to try. What works and what doesn’t? The best solution for this dilemma is a recommendation from a trusted colleague.

Everybody who believes in the benefits of digitalization should remember the definition of GOOD digitalization:  if you have learned something new and functional, share it with as many people as possible. For example, Finnish Preschool Aurinkolahti shared that they utilized Hublet self-service shared tablets as a safe way to provide digital learning materials to their students. That way we all get closer to digital benefits. There is no digital giant leap but there certainly is a lot of good steps in the path of good digitalization.