If you have had a training day on return to school after the break, I hope it was a good one. In my experience, the training day is marred by the inclusion of a session in which a guest 'expert' addresses the whole staff. The aspects I liked best were the time available to work with my team, and the time I had on my own to get things ready for when the kids returned.
If you have any opportunity to organise your own time on a training day, here's what I suggest should be the priorities from an education technology perspective:
- Make sure the tech is ready to use. That doesn't mean you have to check it, but ask the technical support team, if there is one, if it is all ready to use.
- Try logging in as yourself, and also as a pupil. It's better to have a nasty surprise today rather than in a lesson with 30 kids.
- Also check if anything has changed. For example, has some software been updated over the holidays, necessitating changes to instructions? You may not have time to make those changes now, but at least you will be forewarned and can inform staff and pupils.
- If you need to book ed tech facilities, such as equipment or a computer lab, do so.
- Check that you have all your lesson plans, worksheets, anything else in place for when you need it for the first teaching day.
- Check that your classroom is clean, welcoming and (yes I'll say it) exciting.
If you are the Computing/Ed Tech/ICT lead in your school, here are some things you may wish to check in addition to those above:
- Does everyone in your team know what they are doing in terms of the first topic to be taught?
- Do they have the knowledge they need, or will they need support in class if it can be arranged, or time to go through the material with you or someone else?
- Are there any newsy topics that might be discussed with students? For example, have there been high-profile data leaks recently? Has YouTube or another social media platform come in for e-safety-related criticism?
- Make sure that your meeting contains essential ingredients: tea, coffee, and a selection of cakes!
Finally, if you've had the worst kind of training day, perhaps this extract from a radio comedy show will bring a smile to your face: