One of the things you have to acknowledge, whether you like it or not, is that to some extent people do judge by appearances. So, how does your ICT provision appear to others?
There is a potential paradox, of course. Looked at from one perspective, if you have the time to spruce up the way things look, you can’t be that busy. It’s like the old conundrum: there are two hairdressers in a village, one whose hair is immaculate, the other whose hair looks awful. Which one do you go to to have your hair done? The knee-jerk answer is the well-groomed one. But a moment’s thought will tell you that she must be getting her hair done by the other one!
Nevertheless, appearances count, and so here are a few points you might like to consider, because they could exert a subtle influence on whether students choose your option and whether colleagues avail themselves of the educational technology facilities.
- Take a leaf out of the business book, and have an identifiable image. When I was in charge of ICT in schools I used to create, or have printed, departmental stationery. I ran a competition for the youngsters to design our logo and letterhead, and that was used on any letters or memos sent to colleagues.
- In one school I worked in around 20 years ago I also asked the reprographics department to design a business card and print a set for me, for when I attended conferences. It had the school name and crest on, as well as my name, position and direct contact details. It was so impressive that the Headteacher followed suit and ordered a set for himself!
- Make sure noticeboards and other display areas look nice, taking care to remove torn posters or old work (ie anything older than a couple of weeks at the most).
- Make sure notices are spell-checked properly.
- Check links on your VLE and/or website area, because broken links seem to connote a lack of care and attention.
I don’t think any of this needs to take loads of time, if you and your colleagues – and pupils and students – do it as a matter of course, a little bit each day.
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