31 Days to Become a Better Ed Tech Leader -- Day 4: Get Out and About

A task a day for 31 daysA really useful thing to do is to get out of your own learning area and walk around the school. It's hard to find the time to do, because you're either teaching a full timetable or you need to use your non-teaching periods for lesson preparation and marking and so on. But if you can arrange it you will almost certainly find it quite enlightening.

The point of the exercise is to quickly get an idea of how embedded is the use of educational technology in the curriculum. Checklists and surveys often tell you what people would like to see happening, but not necessarily what IS happening. Walking around the school can give you a rough and ready idea. It's not scientific, but it may help you to pinpoint areas to focus on — either because they seem especially strong, or particularly weak.

Things to look out for include:

  • What is the signage like on the display boards in the different parts of the school?
  • Are there photos up of kids using technology?
  • How many lessons are actually using technology, or at least include some children using it, as you walk around?

One thing you need to try and avoid is walking around the school at the same time every week, because it stands to reason that you're likely to keep seeing, or not seeing, the same thing. So a variation of this is to ask members of your team to do this as well. If they don't have time, then keeping their eyes open on the way to and from the staffroom and when they're walking around the school anyway can be very useful.

And as you walk around, think to yourself: does this feel like a school which has technology at its heart? Remember: it's the general impression, not the nitty-gritty detail, that you're supposed to be aware of.