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Council’s ambitious digital learning estate continues to support education in Highland

By Jean Gunn

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Education chairman, councillor John Finlayson.
Education chairman, councillor John Finlayson.

A new digital toolkit for teaching staff has been created by the Highland Council as parts of its continued programme to connect and support learners and educators across the region.

Education chairman, councillor John Finlayson said: “The extensive digital learning estate available across Highland for staff, pupils, parents and carers is an effective way to empower and develop digital opportunities across Highland schools. Our school estate is unique in Highland as we have 203 schools of different sizes across both rural and urban areas.

"Therefore, our digital learning estate must be flexible and resilient to meet the needs of each school’s local circumstances across the region. This is also important as Covid-19 continues to be present in our schools. As cases rise, the need for a dynamic and resilient digital learning estate is essential to support pupils and staff whether they are learning at home or in school.”

All pupils in Highland have access to a digital device in schools which may be a Chromebook, a laptop, or another device as appropriate. In the last year the Connecting Scotland grant allowed The Highland Council to support pupils who may be digitally excluded. We continue to work with schools to ensure that learners have access to devices.

In 2021, Highland has:

  • 33,260 active Chromebooks;
  • 14,400 secondary pupils using a one-to-one device (for use at home and school);
  • all P6 and P7 pupils using a one-to-one device (for use at home and school);
  • 105 primary schools with a school under 72 using one-to-one devices (for use at home and school).

The new digital toolkit is a Google Site that allows us to build on the already able skills of education staff in Highland schools. The toolkit provides staff with links to current good practice, advice, and policies to promote high quality delivery of teaching & learning using digital skills.

In addition, the Highland Online Safety Centre provides a one-stop support for pupils, staff and parents on all matters related to online safety. Further information and resources to support home learning can be found on the Highland Digital School Hub.

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