Thursday, 28 November 2019

Frustration, conception, solution - A narrative for change in progressing and transforming digital capabilities

Today I attended and presented (video at bottom) at the first DigiLearn Sector Connect event, themed on 'Developing the digital capability of our staff'.  EDIT: I was invited to write a guest blog post 'DigiLearn Sector Connect – Key takeaways from DLS Co-ordinator, Daniel Scott'.  I discuss what was good about the event and what I gained from attending.  Below are things I Tweeted during the event, but lots more shared at #DigiLearnSector.

Early rise. Arrived @UCLan Burnley campus for an inspirational day of sharing & productivity at the first #DigiLearnSector Connect event. Added challenge delivering my debut #PechaKucha on my role-specific #digitalcapabilites work.

#DigiLearnSector asks, what are the benefits of it to me & my organisation... Networking with like-minded individuals, sharing practices & projects, contributing to others development, sharing all of this with my team.

"You have to get your culture right first." - @hope_steven.

We may all do this, seen or unseen. Be a #magpie! Stealing can be positive. Allow people to take ideas back to their nests to contextualise and share with others. We don't have to reinvent the wheel, says @hope_steven.

Key message I am hearing from @hope_steven's work is that they are forward-thinking on #edtech success and transformation. Creating foundations and environments, not making it fit like square pegs in round holes.

What doesn't work is just as important as what does work. But we have to tell people this. May that be in safe spaces or not, it should be ok to say it. Says @k9williams.

Keeping #digitalcapabilities simple by @PhilEdTech. Lots of great simple approaches, resources and tips to support staff in their digital practices - brilliant effort.

Well done @ChrisLearnTech, @k9williams and all involved, you've done a smashing job today. Thanks for a great day! 😃


"Looking forward to sharing some experimental but purposeful thinking on #digitalcapabilities and meeting the wider #DigiLearnSector community. 😃"

Being a co-ordinator for the community, I felt it was a good opportunity to present something new I have been working on, that influenced a change of focus in our team.  So I took up the challenge with my debut PechaKucha.  The aim of my presentation was to give a preview of my thinking.  Moreover, when asked 'why' am I doing what I do etc in a recent DigiLearn webinar activity, here was my response:  To make a difference in transforming and progressing digital practices for both staff and student.

Here are my notes I made on the slides:

  • Slide 1
    • Aim of this is to give a preview of some strategic experimental and purposeful thinking.
    • This is a very quick and short narrative on a new approach I have been developing, focused on role-specific digital capabilities.
    • Starting with frustration, conceptualising an idea and arriving at a solution.
  • Slide 2
    • I’m Daniel Scott, broadly defined as a Digital Learning Specialist.
    • I am a Digital Practice Adviser at Nottingham Trent University, based in Human Resources.
    • Focusing on consulting with schools and teams to identify and support their staffs digital capabilities.
  • Slide 3
    • I find that digital capabilities is often ponderous, broad and vague.  It feels nebulous and expansive as it’s such a huge and diverse topic.
    • Digital is everywhere and has become somewhat invisible in people.  Everyone has their own meanings, interpretations and opinions about it.
    • We often provide staff development but can often be to the same people – preaching to the converted.  How do we get to those that aren’t engaged and don’t see the value of digital in their role?
    • We have lots of frameworks and underpinning criteria on topics and aspects.  But sometimes people can't understand the relation to their roles and feel they have to be everything on them.
    • However, I feel we should be focusing on the tasks and activities that the role requires.  Plus, looking at how we can progress and transform digital practices.
  • Slide 4
    • Criteria taken from Level 3 unit from a Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills qualification.
    • All of them but focus on 2.2.  How often do we review our digital practices and change the approach as needed?  Revisit the role of digital as said on slide before, it’s become invisible.  We need the time and safe spaces to conduct this review.
    • Time and availability of resources are constraints to this.
  • Slide 5
    • My thinking on role-specific in digital capabilities started throughout my engagement through the University, reimagined (a programme where the university determined it’s 2025 strategic objectives) which led me to my side project of purposeful technology.
    • During my end of year appraisal I suggested we should be focussing explicitly on developing digital capabilities.
    • We had a lot of focus and emphasis and just learning and teaching.
    • We cover learning and teaching, professional services, research and leadership and management roles – how can we be specific to these roles?
    • Personal element: I wanted add value to the development of digital capabilities and give my role further credence.
    • It's the value added piece I’m trying to get to and the transformation and progression of digital skills, not doing the same things and not seeing change in practices.
  • Slide 6
    • My aha! moment.
    • I started thinking of some approaches for developing role-specific digital capabilities.
    • There were strong links to upcoming strategic objectives known as University, reimagined.  The next few slides show excerpts of my thinking.
    • I shared a vision with my manager – they really liked the idea and encouraged me to broaden my thinking.
    • Escalated really quickly and went through a few phases of refinement, just like an iterative approach.
  • Slide 7
    • Underpinned with the Barbara Minto's Pyramid Principle that I was introduced to, I started sketch out some thinking.
    • Here I am thinking of what goes into digital capabilities and what comes out as a result.
    • Digital capabilities is an outcome – a continuum that never stops and evolves with your role.
  • Slide 8
    • Confidence will always outweigh competence.
    • Message here is to get users and suppliers to take more responsibility for technical and cultural aspects, we can’t do it all.
    • Ongoing challenge with technical and cultural conflict, but has to be a point of saying it’s what is required of your role.  Taking responsibility rather than having something to blame – but not always the case.  People are at the centre of making change.
  • Slide 9
    • Here I am devising ways of developing a strategy and ways that this can be delivered, using existing resources and material.
    • Thought about developing a philosophy (links to purposeful) that people can relate to and joining up existing resources – not creating anything new, use what we’ve got.
    • Thought about using the blueprints of DigiLearn as a mechanism to engage people as a community that was backed by University, reimagined outcomes.  Making champions and working with IT more closely to evaluate new features and functions to develop purposes.
    • And how we can demonstrate impact of it.
  • Slide 10
    • Me defining my objectives that is underpinned by University, reimagined outcomes and goes some way to supporting their ambitions.
  • Slide 11
    • Here I am summarising a direction from understanding digital practices, having opportunities to practise and evidencing change in practices.
    • Digital capabilities means different things to people, so I suggested that we stop pursuing understanding what it means as a university.
    • We need to accept there are different meanings of digital capabilities, both individual and organisational.  Digital capabilities is about context to role and tasks.
  • Slide 12
    • Individual is about self-support, MIE and building champions.
    • Organisational is mapping role-specific digital capabilities.
    • Experimental is underpinned by the SAMR model transform and progress digital practices.
  • Slide 13
    • Provided options of who we can target.  Do we just focus on individuals, team, department, university – priorities will decide.
  • Slide 14
    • Using MIE as a self-supporting community and as a way to build champions.
    • Currently, discussions taking place.
  • Slide 15
    • Essentially, learning design meets digital capabilities, identifying digital behaviours and performance of roles.
    • It was agreed that we are focusing on this as a new approach for our team.
  • Slide 16
    • This is underpinned by the SAMR model but focused on digital skills – still in development and will be part of the organisational approach.
    • Basically, encouraging people to transform their practices and not to the same thing with different digital technology.
    • Currently fleshing this out in terms of what the process would look like and how to work through it.
  • Slide 17
    • Me thinking broadly about what I need to make this a success – are these all in place and are they articulated well?
    • From Randy Garrison’s E-Learning in the 21st Century (2016).
  • Slide 18
    • Arrived at a workable solution.
    • Basically a programme, starting with a consultation, making a contextual digital capability framework.  Build programme with right people and deliver it.
    • A taster of what’s to come as a new area of focus in the team, which I am leading on.
    • Focused on role-specific digital capabilities, i.e. a senior lecturer role.
  • Slide 19
    • As part of the consultation we will extract required digital skills using job descriptions.
    • And produce a contextual digital capability framework.  Review it and approve with stakeholders.
  • Slide 20
    • Still in development but will share my progress as I go.
    • If you find any of this useful, I am happy to collaborate with you to develop it further or act as a critical friend.

Here's my PechaKucha:

N.B. You won't be able to clearly read all details on my 'thinking decks', but emphasis on this style of presentations for me to visually explain the concepts, with minimal time.  When this piece of work has been developed further and implemented, I will share my progress in more clearer and deeper detail.  However, feel free to contact me if you want a detailed explanation on this.

Russ Brookes - @_Daniel_Scott again will a good session on triggers for change and making it all seem so simple.

Alicia Owen - And now hearing from @_Daniel_Scott who is a Digital Practice Adviser - based within - HR! @testdomain @alison_pugh ( digital skills therefore for everyone - not just a learning and teaching thing!)

Colette Mazzola - Thank you for a great presentation @_Daniel_Scott I love the idea of confidence vs competence 🙂 📚