A huge congratulations to one of our favourite clients, the NSW Department of Education! Yesterday they were awarded the prestigious Intranet and Digital Workplace Gold Award from Step Two for their revolutionary STEM learning platform, the stem.T4L project. 🙌
The stem.T4L platform wins Step Two’s Gold Award for best Intranet and Digital Workplace!
Step Two’s Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards are global awards that recognise outstanding contributions to the fields of intranets, digital workplaces and digital employee experience (DEX). The awards shine a light on remarkable solutions from around the world and the talented teams and agencies behind these innovations.
This year there was particularly stiff competition, but the NSW Department of Education’s inspiring STEM education initiative came out as one of just 8 global Gold category winners.
Because, as Step Two’s judges wrote on the award page for the NSW Dept of Education, they loved the innovative premise and the community approach to creating and sharing learning resources, they loved the pinboard design, the easy search capabilities and the highly granular analytics. 👏👏👏
They particularly noted that the stem.T4L’s customisation on Valo’s well-established intranet product as a successful approach because it enabled the creative and development teams to “focus more on the user experience.”
The STEM Education Vision
The visionary team at the NSW Department of Education identified a need for an online, collaborative platform specifically for STEM (integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning challenges. The problem at that time, back in 2018, was that each public school was being supplied with STEM learning resource kits, but only for a short time each and on rotation. They needed a resource the teachers and students could access quickly with up-to-date information and instructional videos that would help them get the most out of each kit in the short period of time.
The stem.T4L STEM Learning Initiative
That’s why the NSW Dept of Education’s Learning Designers, Pip Cleaves and Rob McTaggart, envisioned an online platform accessible from anywhere across NSW’s vast 800,000km+ area. An online forum where teachers could not only learn, but impart and share knowledge with other teachers and with students as well.💡
As Rob McTaggart pointed out, they wanted to create a platform where they didn’t have to ‘moderate the teachers’ material’ or have a ‘top down control format.’ They wanted to create a more dynamic, “social media style“ platform so that each teacher could engage with educational resources and also develop and share their own curated resources for their students and other teachers across the state.
By 2019, the stem.T4L project would soon become a revolutionary new way for teachers and students to explore a range of new, inspiring topics and to advance at their own pace.
Built on Valo Modern Intranet
To help them achieve their ambitious vision, the NSW Department of Education recruited Janniek Starren and the team from SharePoint Gurus, Valo’s Premium partners in Sydney. They recommended the educational platform be built over the unique Valo Modern Intranet, because it is highly extendable and would offer them a number of advantages: Firstly, it already had an advanced search and find component, one click page and site templates that could be easily customised, and detailed analytics for future improvements.
That’s why when accepting this enormous award with the NSW Department of Education, Rob McTaggart humbly acknowledged:
It wouldn’t have been possible to build something so effective for NSW teachers and students without Janniek and the @SPGurusAU team, @valointranet and @StepTwoDesigns! This is yours, too. https://t.co/8SAoGfRg06 #IDWawards pic.twitter.com/wVKOAjGjeg
— Rob McTaggart (@robmctaggart) July 9, 2020
Thanks for the love, Rob! 😍
And, of course, Sebastian Levert, our own Microsoft MVP Valo team member who consulted on this project, also responded:
Working with SharePoint Gurus and the NSW Department of Education to build such an engaging learning portal was an amazing experience that got the proved us that Valo Intranet can be used to build award-winning Digital Workplaces!
Awesome teamwork! 💛
Multi-award winning STEM learning project
Of course, this is not the first prestigious award that the stem.T4L project has received: last year the stem.T4L project and their easily adaptable base framework won SharePoint Gurus the Valo Customization of the Year 2019 award, largely because of the usefulness and creativity employed to extend Valo’s Modern Intranet base well beyond its usual functions and features.
But you can bet, with the extensive user base and the tireless efforts of NSW Department of Education to keep improving and updating this amazing and instrumental STEM platform, this will not be stem.T4L’s last award! And certainly, the impact of this amazing educational initiative will be felt for generations to come.
Valo is proud to support our partners and clients and we are happy to help you extend our products to ensure you get the best intranet for your unique needs!
Contact us to get some #ValoLove in your daily workplace and see how Valo can help you more!