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Midlothian Council

Midlothian and Canopy: Digital Skills for All

Midlothian and Canopy joined forces in the spring of 2022 to support the development of technology skills and competencies across the council, initially with staff and then with students.

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The Challenge

In the spring of 2022, Midlothian Council introduced Workspace Skills to staff with an aim of helping to have a consistent skill base for use of Google Workspace Tools. Digital leads at each school and Midlothian’s Digital Inclusion and Learning Team were available to support, and nudge staff along as needed.

As the needs of support staff are different, this was taken into account and tutorials and skills needed to support the students they worked with were assigned. 

The Results

Teams across the council were able to do things they couldn’t do before and Workspace Skills provided a common foundation and experience for teachers and support staff. Members of staff were able to support each other. Council leadership also participated and learned by doing, using the self-paced tutorials. Even those who were proficient before the Workspace Skills launch have increased competency and efficiency in using Google Workspace Tools. 

By summer, 80% of staff had completed the tutorials and 92% by winter. Having a common language, experiences and increased skill levels allowed teams to use technology in ways that weren’t possible before. 
 

Students

In January of 2023, focus shifted from staff to students. Supporting students to have the same strong skills foundation and common language as staff was a key outcome, ensuring students were upskilled and at a consistent level. Supporting integration into the curriculum through a Digital Literacy framework has encouraged active, purposeful use of the tutorials and skills explored. Badge passports are used as a way to highlight skills and direct next steps and review. With the integration into the curriculum, teachers are able to reference and highlight skills in practical and applicable ways. This integration has led to metacognitive conversations that couldn’t have been anticipated- students are thinking about thinking as they process how to be most efficient and create the most appropriate workflow. This rich dialogue has been brilliant! 

With the integration of Workspace Skills into the curriculum, there has been a shift in some year levels and introductory courses. Midlothian are working towards a consistent foundation of digital competency for all students entering secondary school. Google Workspace Skills is a key part of this foundation, ensuring students are best equipped to make full use of their 1:1 Chromebook and Google Workspace account. A similar approach for staff and students new to Midlothian ensures digital skills acquisition is engaging, purposeful and fun. Google Workspace Skills has been brilliant and a “core vehicle this year in terms of driving up a certain skill base.”

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