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Daveslist Volume 3 Issue 14 👩🎓
Scalable approaches to building digital confidence (or, how I made an actual thing)
Increasing the confidence of an organisation in all things digital is a tricky thing to do at scale. It’s possible to run workshops with your senior managers every now and then, and you can do similar things with different teams. But it’s hard to scale that across large numbers of people, because of the usual problems of time and capacity.
I really believe that for sustainable culture change, as many people as possible need to know the basics of digital. Just to get everybody on the same page. But as well as being scalable, it also needs to be relevant. For my niche, local public services, that means that a lot of the learning stuff out there is just too generic for our peculiar (in both senses of the word!) circumstances.
I’ve been mulling over it for literally years, and now I have actually done something about it.
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The thing I have done is called Digicademy. It’s a way of blending traditional learning approaches such as workshops and coaching - which work great for small teams and individuals - with a unique online learning package - which works just as well for much larger groups.
The online learning course is called ‘Digital Essentials’ and it covers the 5 things that everyone in local public services needs to understand about this thing called ‘digital’. They are:
What digital is, and what it means for local public services
User centred service design
The agile delivery mindset
The importance of data and using evidence to make decisions
Each lesson is made up of a video presentation, an audio only version for podcast fans, a transcript of the content, a copy of the slides, links to further reading and watching on that topic, and a quiz to help ensure the learning has been retained.
As well as this, it also includes a self-reflection workbook, enabling learners to take the time away from their screens to think about how what they have learned applies to them and their roles within their organisation.
Everything has been created with the benefit of my experience working in and around local public services. It acknowledges the unique aspects of the sector, and the ways in which compromises have to be made when adopting new ways of working and delivering services. It focuses on what really matters, rather than being dogmatic and inflexible.
The final bit of special sauce is the impact measurement tool. Before and after the course, learners are asked to rate how confident they feel in each subject area. These are then compared at the end to show progress, and can be reported on across an organisation to demonstrate the impact the learning has had.
This course can be hosted on your own learning management system, or I can host it on my own community LMS.
The costs are straightforward - it’s an annual subscription that will include updates to the content to keep it fresh and relevant. Smaller councils like districts and boroughs pay £5,000 a year; larger counties, unitaries and London boroughs pay £10,000 - and that’s for as many learners as you like, and whether you host it yourself or ask me to do it on your behalf. More courses are planned, and they will form part of the same subscription.
Has your organisation made a commitment to increasing the digital confidence of your staff? Not quite sure how you can do it at scale? It might be that Digicademy and the Digital Essentials e-learning course will help.
This issue’s links
Redesigning the DDaT Capability Framework. Worth digging into around how specialist digital skills are developing. Much of this though will be way beyond the reach of many organisations.
Can data help me solve this problem? Eddie always writes well about data stuff.
Undertaking GOV.UK's largest software infrastructure project - big, difficult things can be done without too much fuss, if approached in the right way.
Elon Musk: Social media platform X could go behind paywall - shoulda woulda coulda. People need to stop reporting on what this man says and focus on what he does.
Why Voice Failed as a Platform - definitely feels like the buzz around voice has dropped off massively. Good for setting timers, and… not much else? I guess the genuine use case is probably around accessibility, particularly in a care-tech context. Less so for mass adoption.
That’s it for this issue. Don’t forget to hit reply if you have any feedback, or forward this on to anyone you think may enjoy it.
Until next time,