All over the country, indeed all over the world, ed tech evangelists are bending over backwards helping, training and cajoling their colleagues into adopting the use of technology in their own curriculum area. Let’s be honest, most of the time it’s a thankless task. The hapless ICT Co-ordinator feels like Sisyphus, never quite getting that boulder to the top of the hill. Here are 7 suggestions for making the job more manageable.
- Get the senior leadership team to back you. Ideally, they should genuinely do so, rather than merely make the right noises. It’s important to have them on board because of #2…
- Make sure people understand that it is (in England and Wales at least) a statutory requirement of the National Curriculum that pupils have the opportunity to use ICT across the curriculum. If you’re in a school (an academy or a free school, say) which has opted out of the National Curriculum, then #1 becomes even more important.
- Make ICT exciting for the kids. The best revolutions are the ones that spring from the grass roots, and there is nothing like pressure from the pupils themselves (“Are we going to b using the computers for this, Sir?”) to help move things along in other subjects.
- Work with enthusiastic staff…
- … By the same token, don’t bother with the curmudgeons, the ones who’ve seen it all before, the ones who are retiring next year and hope to goodness nothing challenges them in the meantime. Those are the boulders in the stream, the ones whose self-appointed remit in life is to block progress. It’s wonderful when you get these people on board, of course, because of the influence effect "(“If old George is doing it then it must be good!”), but quite frankly it’s a waste of valuable time, effort and energy. Just concentrate on the people who are open to new possibilities.
- Be helpful. For example, why not adopt Freedman’s 5 Minute Rule (patent pending), which seeks to guarantee that someone can use a piece of equipment or a software application within five minutes of starting?
- But not too helpful. By all means, work with colleagues in the classroom, but they have to do some of the work, or nothing will ever change. I’ve always liked the three-lesson model:
Lesson 1: you take the lead
Lesson 2: you team-teach with each doing particular aspects, sharing the work equally
Lesson 3: your colleague takes the lead, with you mainly assisting and observing.
Why not join the discussion about how to extend and embed ICT in the curriculum? You’ll have to sign up and log in, but it’s free. (Interest declaration: I’ve been appointed, along with Drew Buddie, to sun this forum.)