The IDEAL Future project Background

In 2020 it was estimated that over 1.6 billion school-going children worldwide had been affected by the pandemic (UNESCO, 2020). As a result, all levels of education have had to exploit digital learning technologies to continue to support children, young adults and adults to learn.

Education leaders were central to supporting staff, students and parents in this transition, having to provide digital planning, pedagogical, technical and pastoral support.  The regular use of digital technologies is necessary to build resilience and digital capacity/preparedness, should the sector experience similar crises in the future. This requires a clear vision and capacity building in the area of digital pedagogical leadership (Leithwood et al., 2020).

In 2021 the international Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) developed digital leadership standards for educational administrators identifying five components - visionary leadership; digital era learning culture; excellence in professional practice, systemic improvement and digital citizenship. Key to implementing these standards are opportunities for digital professional development and digital learning communities.


Digital learning was a separate and optional element of education.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic

Digital learning now needs to be re-imagined and considered as an integral part of the educational system.

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