Flagship schemes with Google and Microsoft aim to help schools make of the most of their existing investments and supercharge their approach to technology

The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) is excited to announce its new Let’s Get Digital initiative, a landmark project incorporating groundbreaking projects with Microsoft and Google designed to help schools make the most of their current technology purchases.

As a not-for-profit organisation, LGfL recognises that major investments in technology can often fail to deliver the intended benefits at the speed originally envisaged. Frequently, the key reason for this is the absence of support for changes needed in leadership, skills and pedagogy. The London Grid for Learning is therefore committed to strengthening the support it offers its schools as they move towards the further integration of cloud and other technology.

This support will include the continued development of professional networks including pioneering projects with Google and Microsoft which will identify ‘cloud champions’ from schools across London. Both projects will include pilots for up to 50 schools and aim to embed technology in teaching across all areas of the curriculum, improving outcomes for students and equipping them with the skills required for the modern workplace. Participating schools will also have their connectivity “supercharged” to support access to the cloud.

Microsoft Cloud Champions will receive all the benefits of the Microsoft Schools programme, supplemented with additional resources just for LGfL. These additional benefits will include CPD for senior leaders in each identified school at Microsoft’s HQ and online; two hosted events at Microsoft’s London HQ; priority access to the Microsoft Training Academy space on the Microsoft campus with options to book CPD and support from the Microsoft Learning Consultant for London, as well as the opportunity to share and distribute best practice across London. The programme is also expected to help with the greater integration of Microsoft Office 365 in each of the identified schools.

Google Cloud Champions will be offered exclusive access to discounted pricing on Google kit - made possible through LGfL group purchasing - as well as Google training and leadership sessions taking place at Google’s headquarters in London. Senior leaders at all Google Cloud Champion Schools will be invited to attend half day Transformational Planning Workshops which will focus on technology vision setting, integration strategies and developing pilot success criteria.

In both cases LGfL is boosting the broadband capacity of the Champion Schools at no additional cost so they can benefit from the next generation of cloud services. In addition, LGfL has brought onboard Google and Microsoft Teacher Leaders to support the programme by working directly with schools.

This initiative is supported by the new ‘LGfL TV’ portal designed to support senior leaders as they engage in the necessary change management processes required to bring about this transformation in schools. A dedicated ‘Let’s Get Digital’ LGfL video channel offers advice through more than 50 short format video interviews with Google, Microsoft and LGfL staff explaining all aspects of the change management process. Advice targets both technical and teaching staff, as well as senior leaders with real world examples offered throughout of how to successfully implement Cloud Platforms in schools today.

John Jackson, Chief Executive Officer at the London Grid for Learning commented,

“I’ve learned the hard way that any organisation seeking to deliver digital transformation needs a fantastic change management strategy to succeed. Let’s Get Digital is our free service to help schools deliver their strategies. It comes just at the right time with cloud platforms becoming affordable and far more expansive in what they can deliver to a school. That is why LGfL is working with two of the leading global innovators in education technology, so we can bring the latest, cutting edge technology to our network of schools. The Champions Programme enables us to crowdsource and collaborate at scale meaning that schools benefit faster and in richer ways than would be possible attempting to do this alone.”

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