I was asked yesterday what a good ICT school looks like. The question threw me momentarily, and the fact that it threw me threw me as well: a sort of meta-throwing. Then I realised why: I don't think you can tell whether a school is good at ICT just by looking. All that looking does is help you make some working assumptions which you can then, one hopes, test out.
It's true that many people, even now, think that a school is doing good ICT if there are lots of computers on. But you have to dig much deeper than that.
First, can everyone in the school answer the question "why?". Why is there all this technology in the school, what's it supposed to achieve, what, in short, is the point? Do the headteacher and the senior leadership know what they hope to achieve with it?
Second, is the ICT making a difference in terms of students' learning and achievement -- not just in terms of ICT itself but across the board?
Third, is it making a difference in terms of teachers' workload? This is, of course, intricately bound up with the previous question.
In short, before you can answer the question posed, you have to answer several other questions first.
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