Secondary School Staff Digital Literacy – 2014 survey results

Digilit Leicester 2014 findings - infograph

The DigiLit Leicester project is a two year collaboration between Leicester City Council, De Montfort University and 23 secondary and specialist education schools. Leicester’s secondary and SEN schools collectively support over 20,000 learners each year, with the majority of learners being between 11 and 16 years old. The project focuses on supporting secondary school staff in developing their digital literacy knowledge, skills and practice.

A digital literacy framework was developed in consultation with the schools, embedding digital literacy within secondary school practice. From this, an online survey was developed, designed to support staff in reflecting on their use of technology to support teaching and learning, and to provide individual staff members, schools and the Council with information to inform future planning around professional development.

This year’s findings!

The survey was opened for a second time between March and May 2014, seeing an increase in engagement from schools. 701 members of staff completed the survey in 2014, or 39% of all eligible staff, with 209 taking part for the second time in 2013.

Headlines for the 2014 survey findings are:

  • 56% of staff across the city who participated in the survey classified their skills and confidence at the highest level – Pioneer – in one or more of the six key digital literacy areas.
  • 23% of all those who participated in the survey placed themselves at Entry level in one or more of the six key areas.
  • Staff rate their skills and confidence highest in the area of E-Safety and Online Identity, with 43.5% of respondents scoring at Pioneer level.
  • Staff feel least confident in the area of Communication, Collaboration and Participation, with 9% of staff rating themselves as Entry level and 38.7% falling within the lower levels of the framework (at either Entry or Core level).
  • In Creating and Sharing , 42.1% of staff rated their skills and confidence in the lower levels of the framework (Entry and Core levels).
  • Analysis comparing the survey data from 2013 and 2014 shows that a statistically significant change in staff confidence has occurred, with 21% of participants registering an increase in their skills and confidence. Levels achieved increased in five of the six key areas (excluding E-Safety and Online Identity, where levels were already high).

You can find out more by downloading a copy of the report here:

DigiLit Leicester 2014 Survey Report (Word)

DigiLit Leicester 2014 Survey Report (PDF)


Share and promote Pioneer practice

1. Ensure that the work being done by city Pioneers is promoted and shared more widely. Promote and support the use of open licences to enable wider discovery, use and reuse of educational resources produced by city staff.

2. Provide encouragement, opportunity and recognition to Pioneers who support Entry level colleagues.

Support entry-level staff

3. Provide supported opportunities and resources specifically designed for and accessible to Entry level staff, particularly in relation to Assessment and Feedback and Communication, Collaboration and Participation.

Support self-directed staff development

4. Continue to provide support for self-directed staff development projects and activities. This approach is supported by the research literature, which has shown that professional development programmes that support staff in focusing on developing their own knowledge ‘are most likely to lead to transformative change’ (Fraser et al. 2007, p.167).

Encouraging contextual e-safety guidance

5. Continue to support work which supports schools in expanding the safe and effective use of social and collaborative technologies.

Increasing knowledge and use of Open Educational Resources (OERs)

6. Complete work on the project’s current Open Education schools project, and evaluate the benefit of continued focus on and additional work in this area.


TeachMeet Leicester Digital Literacy #TMDL14

This week the DigiLit Leicester project held a TeachMeet in collaboration with VESA (the Vocational Education Support Agency). Hosted at Crown Hills Community College on 18th March, the evening was an opportunity for educators from across all sectors to come together and share practice that works!

I opened the event with an introducing the DigiLit Leicester Project. Then the fruit machine began to spin 🙂

Information about and resources shared by presenters on the night can be found over at the project blog site.

Many of the attendees were live tweeting the event. You can read through these at our Storify of the evening – scroll down for the embed.

SimonR TweetTimF Tweet



Winning! The DigiLit Leicester Project


The core project team – Lucy Atkins, Josie Fraser and Richard Hall -are all delighted theDigiLit Leicester project has been selected as one of the five winners of the Reclaim Open Learning innovation contest, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, the Digital Media and Learning Hub, and the MIT Media Lab.

Being selected alongside other projects of such high caliber is a real honour:

It’s a great win, not just for the project, but for the city. Our project is a partnership between Leicester City Council, De Montfort University and the 23 Leicester Building Schools for the Future (BSF) mainstream and SEN secondary schools. It’s an important project in terms of the city, since it’s how the ICT strand of the BSF Programme is structuring, designing and delivering on staff development, to make sure learners in the city get the most benefit from the investment being made in technology.

The project is explicit about the important role open education plays within digital literacy  – particularly in terms of the ability to find, evaluate, create, build on and use open educational resources, and in connecting to, participating in and creating open learning networks. The framework and survey content is available under open licence for others to make use of, build on, or adjust for their own settings.

The project aims to improve learner outcomes and opportunities in Leicester by identifying the ways in which school staff are able to use technology to enhance their teaching practice and communities, and support development where gaps are identified. We’ve done this by developing a framework of digital literacy, in partnership with schools, situated in secondary school practice. We’ve developed a survey, again in partnership, mapped to the framework, from which we’ve collected information at the level of individual staff members, schools, and city wide. This month we have been busy meeting with schools to feed back their survey results, decide priorities and plan next steps. We’ll be releasing an external report on the initial findings at the beginning of October 2013. In the second year of the project, we’ll be working with schools on a range of initiatives to further increase staff digital literacy skills and confidence across the city.

You can read my interview for Reclaim Open Learning here.

Cross-posted from LCC’s SchoolTech blog.

DigiLit Leicester – Secondary School Digital Literacy Framework and Survey

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The DigiLit Leicester project has been up and running for nine months now. We’ve been incredibly busy, working with 23 schools across Leicester to design and implement a digital literacy framework situated in secondary (11-18 year olds) school practice. We’ve linked this to a survey open to all schools in the city’s Building Schools for the Future Programme – in order to capture where school staff are across the city in terms of their current practice. This will help us promote and share the innovative and effective work currently happening, and support staff of all levels of confidence to move forward.  

We’ll be using the survey results to work with schools to plan their next steps and to target activity where it will have the greatest impact.

There are three key project stages:

  • Investigate and define digital literacy, in the context of secondary school based practice
  • Identify current school staff confidence levels, and what the strengths and gaps across city schools are, in relation to this definition
  • Support staff in developing their digital literacy skills and knowledge – raising baseline skills and confidence levels across the city, and promoting existing effective and innovative practice

The project is designed to benefit schools both prior to and after the opening of their new school, and to be of relevance to staff working in secondary schools both old and new. It will help all school staff supporting learning and learners to develop their skills and confidence in using technology – from absolute beginner to advanced practitioner. It recognises that staff work in different environments and have different strengths and interests.

The project team are pleased to share our first project outputs – the development of a digital literacy framework situated in secondary school practice, and the creation of a survey tool designed to identify staff confidence levels in relation to the framework. We are releasing this report under an Open Licence, which means that others are free to share, adapt and use our work non-commercially – for the benefit of other secondary schools or other sectors. Please do get in touch if you make use of our work – I’d be delighted to hear from you!

Download the project report:

DigiLit Leicester – initial report June 2013 (Word)

DigiLit Leicester – initial report June 2013(PDF)