It's good to have long-term plans -- essential, in fact -- but what about the period before those plans come to fruition?
The economist John Maynard Keynes famously said:
"In the long run we're all dead."
The question is, what can you do right now, or tomorrow, to improve your students' experience of Computing?
I like to think in terms of quick wins, things that are fairly easy to implement but which have a disproportionate impact. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are some of the quick wins I've implemented in various roles, and the effect they had:
The computer labs were available for booking by teachers -- but there was a separate timetable for each room, in the room itself. It could literally take a teacher the entire lunchtime to check the timetable in each computer room. Consequently, hardly anyone bothered.
I produced a single sheet containing the booking timetables for every computer lab, and put it up in the staffroom. As a result, room bookings tripled within a week.
I bought a few cheap and cheerful printers and put them into the computer labs. Before that, the only printer available was not really available at all: it was so expensive that it was locked away in a room. The predictable results were that either kids printed their work but then couldn't collect it, or didn't bother to print it in the first place. Spending a couple of hundred dollars changed the situation overnight.
Most teachers set homework at the end of the lesson, which is only logical. I suggested to a new Computing teacher that she set the homework at the beginning of the lesson instead. That way she would have a lot more time to make certain that everyone knew what they had to do. The result was that her students were less rushed, she was less stressed, and more kinds handed in their homeowk on time because they had actually understood the task they'd been given.
I put up posters explaining how to do simple tasks, and some humorous posters -- too many computer labs are full of notices forbidding anyone to do anything. The posters were not only practical, but the humorous ones helped to create a nice atmosphere.
None of these are rocket science, and they are pretty inexpensive. The timetable cost me an hour of my time. The printers cost £180 for three. Setting homework at the start of the lesson instead of the end cost nothing at all. Creating the posters took some time but I enjoyed doing it.
Why don't you, your students and your colleagues (if you work in a team) try to come up with half a dozen ways that you could improve the Computing provision in your school, starting from next week?
You may also enjoy reading this article: Lessons from the world of sports: #1 The 1% improvement rule. Also, my article about a history lesson, which details the elements of the photo of the lesson used in this article.