I know quite a few guys on here can help you with this. @RTFM could be a good place to start
We are addressing a number of issues where at the school and looking to what to do for the best in the near future.
Our aim is to look at all aspects of IT from admin to teachers to kids and how we are using this compared to other schools.
White Boards (best use not just a 40" screen)
Desktops laptops in classrooms or from trolleys
Mobile technology apple products or other which work well.
and a whole host of other things be it VLE kids working from home etc
I have been asked to find a couple of schools who have nailed all this and more engaging kids in lessons more and teachers using the kit for what its meant for, delivering high quality lessons. I have been trawling the internet to find reports from .gov or naace but cannot find many that boast excellence in IT other than universities and large colleges and have been blessed with larger than normal budgets.
If you know of any school that really does well with I.T From the teacher using this in the classroom using good software to the kids being happily engaged in all lessons then please let me know is i would be intestested in visiting you with one of my governors in tow ! I know you will all be itching to say your school is best !! :-)
We are a middle school in Northamptonshire across two sites. Our numbers across both sites is around 650.
If you do not want to directly post back to this then please PM me.
Thank you !
RTFM (12th June 2013)
It's going to be quite a challenge to meet all of your goals, but I can help with some: We have focussed on engaging learning outside of the classroom by using ICT and it required a complete rethink of how content is delivered to students.
The main goal for this is accessibility. ie All lessons should be made available and accessible to students at home and in school. This increases parental engagement which is proven to improve grades and improves students access to learning resources for students. This is easier than it sounds because making lessons available means that teachers need to use accessible tools, rather than proprietary formats.
Our checklist was pretty much:
VLE - no proprietary formats - adhere to the BECTA specification from 2005.
Citrix for remote access to specific edu apps (hardly necessary nowadays as we use Google Apps).
@CyberNerd So BYOD... what is your student demographic? What do they bring in? Is there a school lease system available?
Also where did the enthusiasm/motivation to focus on learning outside the classroom come from, and how do you measure the impact it has had?
Demographic is affluent, low free school meals.
They bring in all sorts. LOTS of android tablets, LOTS of ipads. Some macbooks, some laptops. I've spotted a few kids with linux (geeky kids/parents).
The point is that the T+L resources are not inaccessible to them, despite the variety of devices.
We don't have a lease system in place. It is compulsory for 6th form students to bring in a device. We have a bursary system for poorer students who get a free netbook.
Yr 10 and 11 are encouraged to bring in devices (letter to parents) and yr 7,8,9 can bring them in of they want but there is no requirement. We have a bank of 30 or 40 Linux laptops in the library for kids to borrow if they want.
Interesting. How long have you been running the scheme? How do they kids use their technology? What was SLT's argument for it?
How they use the technology is really upto the teachers. Sometimes basic web browsing, photographing evidence, writing articles, writing mobile apps in IT, the usual stuff. Nothing really revolutionary. SLT argument was basically one of better parental engagement, and that using ICT is now an integral part to learning. Do you remember the last time you did any research or asked a detailed question not using IT? - me neither. The theory is that it's how children will operate anyway so its in the schools advantage to leverage it.
Thank for the replies !
what about in the classroom ?? are teachers actively using whiteboard "interactively" ??
We have just spent allot of money here replacing the server end of things and kind of wiping the slate clean and only replacing the software that was needed. Upon doing an audit i foudn there was many titles that are a number of years out of date !
Think the key here is engaging lessons and technology being used properly. Many reports out there to damn I.T within schools saying that I.T based lessons are boring !
Hence why my ask for any schools who feel that they have addressed these issues and more.
Anyway, I think to achieve what your after which is ultimately having a high standard of IT, IT delivery in terms of curriculum and how that is then received by the students you need input from SLT and from the staff.
Depending on how your curriculum is being taught (some schools are now doing away with IT lessons at KS3 and teaching IT across the whole curriculum) will play a part.
Different people have different responsibilities (you with the network, staff with their delivery and content) but all those people are linked together e.g. Can you upskill the teachers with the software they are using, or recommend different software to deliver a better, more useful / insightful / interesting curriculum and support the staff in doing that.
The bottom line has to be 'what is best for our students?'.
I think delivering a curriculum which is varied, modern and most importantly useful is really important and having the tools within the school to back that up (software, home access, VLE, appropriate internet access etc).
You need everyone on board but i'd suggest you want to try and be involved in the decision making process of what is being taught so you can give an insight into what is current and will add value to the students as well as being able to offer advice and help with things like training, lesson support etc.
Just my opinion and i've probably drivvled on about stuff you already know but from my experience these are the sorts of things that help to think about.
No i think your right and also one size doesn't always fit all.
Plus it doesn't harm to go over the basics even if we should already have a grasp on them.
I think what my governors would like here is just to see what others are doing and who out there feels they have a firm grip on what schools are really doing well with I.T in general. This doesn't have to be I.T based lessons.
Again if you feel you have this in hand and don't mind me coming over to see you then give me a PM.
He is becoming more involved in that side of things thankfully and we are moving in the right direction (they started using Virtual Box this year for things for example, using W7 and Ubuntu virtually to test things and 'play around' in a safe environment). New to our ICT teachers, we would have wanted them to do it a long time ago.
We'd like to move away from;
'screen shot sending an email'
'screenshot making a word bold'
'ok, you got a pass, well done'
As it adds no value, no functional skills and is BORING for the students. It doesnt engage them or enthuse them.
I think what adds value to students is allowing them to see, use and understand modern technologies (in the case above virtualisation) to give them a grasp of the sorts of things they'll be expected to know about, understand and have some experience of in a work environment.
As you say, what works for one wont work for another but it never hurts to gather opinions and pick out from them what you think will work for you
Last edited by RTFM; 12th June 2013 at 09:36 AM.
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