School ICT – Where are we and what do we need?
Schools are practical places where most time is spent by staff and students engaging in teaching or collaborative activities. One of the major reasons why school learning platforms and associated tools have failed to take off in many schools is staff and students just don’t have time to become familiar with a new and complex system that seeks to solve all their issues, when in fact a much simpler answer or process could be used.
The tightening of school budgets means ICT spend is being squeezed and in some cases being seen as a delayable expense when compared to more immediate costs such as staffing. This has come at a time when many schools have had their learning platforms for enough time to consider if they are getting what they wanted from it and whether their users are using it and finding it useful!
Many schools have learned from the experience of the last few years, some wonder if the cost and effort of their new systems were worth it, a few believe that the lack of wide spread adoption of their school LPs and other systems mean that they have failed. The truth is that all schools will have moved forwards, some with more wins than others. The key now is for a school to evaluate what they have learnt, what worked and what didn’t and to consider the best way forward.
For some this will mean continuing on the current approach with a view to refreshing training and hardware to drive out further benefits in student’s development and results. Some schools need to ditch elements of the way they currently use their systems and introduce (and integrate) better solutions with the right training to ensure what is bought is used. And there will be some schools who decide they need to take what they have learned and adopt a simpler, more practical approach which focuses on using a little ICT well rather than seeking the “all sing all dancing” solution that has large costs tied up in set-up, support and licences. Money is better spent on training people than on licences!
We can help with all these issues. For Schools has advisers who can assess current ICT systems, identify the school’s real needs and propose the right solution for each school. We have developed a number of tools to help us do this including our ICT audit and analysis tool, which is a quick and effective ICT self assessment and planning process.
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