Moving forward

The idea behind the whole blog is to document the changes that my school are going through as we try to move ICT forward.

Recently, I have grown a little frustrated at the realisation that, in the 18 months I have been jointly responsible for ICT in school, nothing has changed. We are on the pilot for Chrome books, which came about by chance rather than anything planned, but apart from that, nothing.

Until this week.

Myself and two colleagues, who also have a vested interest in ICT, met with our head and deputy this week to discuss what we need to do. I emphasise the word need because that’s what it is; it is not longer something we’d like, it is simply something that has to be done before we risk falling even further behind the times.

We started out by outlining the progress made during the Chrome book pilot. As mentioned in a previous blog, Chrome books are lovely, but limit you to Google Apps, meaning you can’t access other useful programmes such as Write Online. However, the benefits of using Google Apps to collaborate and enable children to work from home has meant their engagement has grown. We want to continue with this.

This requires new equipment. Apart from the 40 Chromebooks (half of which are on loan), we have an obsolete laptop trolley and a slow, cumbersome ICT suite of PCs. We put this case forward to our head, who agreed we need to invest – including in iPads!

Blogging will begin in earnest in the Autumn term, with three classes ‘trialling’ it before rolling it out to the whole school in Spring. In addition to this, I am currently trying to persuade the school to allow classes to have their own Twitter handles, having seen the work done by Chris Talbot (@toots2106) in Birmingham.

A successful meeting that left us all feeling positive, but most importantly, a meeting which allowed us to get some kind of time scale on it.

September/October – 3 classes to begin blogging, hopefully via Creative Blogs

October – purchase new equipment, including iPads and iPod touches

December – staff training on using Google Apps

December – 3 blogging classes to join Quadblogging community

January – Junior classes to embed use of Google Apps into day-to-day class activities

February – teachers of blogging classes to attend a Literacy Trust conference, with David Mitchell, Peter Ford and John Sutton

February – INSET day to share successes of blogging, report back on the conference and start the rest of the school blogging too

In addition to this, our ICT technician has a busy time ahead of him, as he will be updating the equipment we currently have, as well as investigating upgrading our broadband connections.

I am hugely excited by this flurry of activity which will definitely see our school move forward in the right direction. There seems a lot to do here, but I am confident that it is manageable, and most importantly, our children will love it.

My two colleagues and I are also looking to visit any schools who are regularly blogging and/or using iPads in order to see how you have integrated it into your schools. If anyone can lend a hand (we are based in the East Midlands), then we would be hugely grateful!


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