A year in review: moving forward

Quite a lot has happened in our school since I started my moaning blog in early 2012. The inertia that surrounded the teaching of ICT was pretty depressing, but, with the help of colleagues, the constant chipping away at my headteacher has actually seen us move quite quickly in the past calendar year.

Achievements

– Three classes are now well away with blogging, and are setting challenges for their children on a regular basis.

– School website is regularly updated and now has relevant information, dates and photographs for visitors. Teachers are embedding all kinds of things on there now!

– Twitter (@StJosephsDerby) is used as a broadcast for events and reminders, and two classes have their own accounts as well – @StJosephsY5 and @StJosephsYr4

– ICT suite has GONE! No more sitting around waiting for computers to load; instead, any ICT activity will be on netbooks and Chromebooks.

– Planning – teachers are now more open to embedding ICT into their planning, rather than it being a stand-alone subject.

– Purple Mash – we are currently undergoing a trial period, but the children love it already.

– Homework – children are being encouraged to complete some homework tasks online, particularly with Manga High.

– Gmail – all children from y2 upwards now have their own Gmail account.

– New provision. We are moving away from the LA as, to put it bluntly, they hinder rather than help. We will be now working with a company who will  look after everything from installations to wireless provision, right through to turning  things on and off again.

What next?

– Blogging for all classes. We are having an INSET day to deliver training for this.
-Netbooks – as alluded to above, we are investing quite heavily in netbooks so that each team has a bank to use.
Digital leaders. I am very excited about this as I know we have lots of keen and able children who will be able to help other students (and  staff!) with blogging, Purple Mash, GDocs and much more.
– iPads. This is an expensive step but one we are keen on taking.
What else?
– I would be keen for the school to hold an e-safety event for parents to discuss the use of Facebook, Twitter etc in school and at home.
– Our curriculum. The biggest and most arduous of tasks, but one that definitely needs looking at in some depth. We are investing heavily in ICT and have children and (most) staff enthused about it; now we just need it to work.
2012 has been a busy year, but one that has seen the profile of technology in school creep ever further upwards. Who is driving this?
The children. On the playground, they are talking about the latest websites, apps and features they have used in class, whether it be Popplet, GDocs, Mural.ly…anything at all. It spreads like wildfire. We need to take this enthusiasm and run with it.

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