Digital normalisation: the new normal?

Attend any educational conference or professional development event these days and one of the hot topics will surely be how to optimise the use of digital technology in classrooms. Yet, while technology has been at the forefront of educational discussion for some time now, it’s clear that not all schools are at the same place as it relates to daily usage, both in and out of the classroom. Whereas one school may still be struggling to move away from print, another may be using digital technology across all facets of the school operations in a way that is so natural and so accepted.

According to Mal Lee – a global leader in researching and documenting the evolution of schooling and former director of schools, secondary college principal, and technology company director – this end state is described as ‘digital normalisation’ and is largely dependent on a school’s current digital capabilities, which, of course, can vary greatly.

In a quest to understand why there are such differences between schools, Mal Lee analysed data from British, American, New Zealand and Australian schools. What he found was that all schools are constantly moving along an ‘evolutionary continuum’ with six steps towards complete digital environments. At each stage, there are key criteria that must be met before moving on.

It’s crucial that teachers and school leadership first understand what distinguishes one stage from another so watch for an upcoming blog post where we outline the six stages of a school’s digital evolution.

In the meantime, what do you think of digital normalisation? Should all schools strive for it?