7 reasons to have a Computing wishlist

ideaHow do you decide what to spend money on when it comes to ed tech? Do you have a list of things you’d like to buy, or do you decide on an ad hoc basis when you read review of software and so on? Do you know how you would spend a small amount, like £10, or do you take the view that unless you’re allowed to spend at least £500 you don’t want to know?
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N is for … New Technology: 5 Reasons You Should Buy It

Watching home moviesI suffer from an unfortunate form of doublethink. In my personal life, I tend not to be an early early adopter. That’s because I rarely have an urgent need for whatever it is the new technology has to offer. However, when I was head of department in a school, and then when I ran a team of advisors and technical support staff in a local authority, I was very keen to spend money on brand new stuff.


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City Learning Centres: The end?

City AirportBecta. The Harnessing Technology grant. Building Schools for the Future. The once-familiar landmarks of the English educational technology landscape are disappearing or gone. The indications are that they are being followed by City Learning Centres. These CLCs, set up around a decade ago to both provide facilities for local businesses and serve as beacons of innovation and excellence to the schools in a locality, are being closed down, threatened with closure, or reduced in staffing and funding. The question is, though: should we mourn?

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Budgeting for educational technology

When the Principal chewed me out for having put in a purchase order for toner cartridges, I guessed that was probably not the best time to present to him my refurbishment plan which involved buying interactive whiteboards. The school was generous in its funding of ICT, but I had been given only a consumables budget, not a capital one. This made planning ahead almost impossible.
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25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #2 Provide timely information

informationYou would think that providing timely information would be just the thing to get you applauded. However, as the song from Porgy and Bess tells us, it ain’t necessarily so. It really all depends on what the information is, and to whom you’re making it available.

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Technology and the Budget

I haven't looked into these claims, but according to the Department for Children, Schools and Families, there's a lot of money to be saved through the use of technology:

  • £650 million from greater use of collaborative procurement in schools. DCSF will provide support to schools through its procurement programme, enabling schools to use secure electronic procurement through the Educational Procurement Centre. DCSF will also support up to 250 groups of mainly primary schools each year to benefit from a shared schools business manager.
  • £50 million through schools lowering energy usage, using energy display meters which will be available to all schools that want them, enabling schools to typically reduce energy consumption by between 5 and 15 per cent.

On the first point, there has been quite a lot said recently about Gordon Brown, the Pime Minister, wanting to increase the facilities offered by government departments to enable people to conduct their business with officialdom over the internet. Again, I haven't delved into it, but at first glance it seems like a welcome development to me. There is little more depressing and time-consuming than waiting in line in a government building, trying to get something done: doing it online is a far better prospect.

I have serious doubts about the idea of energy meters. I can imagine kids (especially boys) wanting to see how far they can make the number rise! I can see such things working in a domestic environment, where the effect of doing X on energy consumption is fairly immediately apparent, and where everyone has a personal interest in using the information to reduce energy consumption. But in a school environment? I have my doubts.

I'd be interested to hear what others think of this idea.