Friday, 27 February 2009

School improvement

I had one of the most surprising and pleasing experiences in my career yesterday. A few months ago a school called me in to carry out a whole school audit of their ICT equipment. It was a tiny school and very needy having only old computers, no peripheral devices such as cameras, visualisers, whiteboards, projectors, foundation stage toys etc. I worked for a day with the teacher doing the ICT coordinator role. We audited all existing kit, decided what was good and worth keeping and what was rubbish. Together we formulated a list of what was needed for basic ICT curriculum coverage, then a wish list of extra, exciting things that would enhance the curriculum in school. It was going to be a lot of money's worth and once I had written the report I did not see anyone in the school for several months. I carry out audits fairly frequently and schools mostly buy the essentials, often with difficulties, then forget the audit.

I went back into the same school yesterday to plan the next stage of school development.

The new head who had initially called me in was not a confident ICT user but once her new kit arrived was on a steep learning curve. She told me how the children to whom she was teaching French, were writing their own profiles, in French, using PowerPoint and how they had worked out between them how to get their own photographs from their new digital cameras into the slides. I asked whether they had any microphones and the headteacher said yes - they had bought everything on my list - £29,000 worth!
She asked why and when I mentioned taping narrations in French and her eyes lit up, she had not thought about that so was waiting to get back to that class to try it out.

They were thrilled to see all of the creative work that had been enabled by the new kit, how much freedom for use of ICT in all subjects the laptop trolley had opened up, how much the foundation stage children loved playing with bee-bots, toys etc. The teachers were confidently using the interactive whiteboards to enhance their teaching and were all having a wonderful time.

No comments: