The challenge of a new school setting also brings with it a fresh approach to digital technology – it's no longer an option to just ignore this part of your school. Leaving servers running old operating systems are unreliable can leave files wide open and slow systems just won't cut it for the teachers of today.
What to do though when budgets are tight?
So, a time for a different digital strategy.
First think through what we want to achieve… The techology should support teaching and learning.
- Create, enhance and support the delivery of a wide range of curriculum experiences
- Save time, support teachers and allow for the easy sharing of resources and ideas
- Equip pupils for computing in line with the curriculum, give them skills to support their future learning.
We've decided to go for a chromebook approach – one that means files can be shared between pupils and staff and means collaborative working is super easy. Early signs are good – the pupils are incredibly keen and all staff are on board! Hopefully it will allow us to develop a greater breadth of experiences. Remains to be how effective it will be – and evaluations will have to be done against some very specific criteria.
This also means that we are looking at a greater use of online tools – and there are plenty out there – to enhance the curriculum provision.
Mobile provision has also been thought of – android tablets will allow children to experience technology out of the classroom and we have the odd iPad to support specific needs.
What does this mean for a stretched budget?
- We still have a 'traditional' server set up – so staff will need more than a chromebook – thinking about use of interactive whiteboards etc.
- Pupils will get to experience many devices – what does that mean for progression of skills?
- Will infrastructure need more support? How will the wifi cope?
There is more to think about – it certainly seems that chromebooks and google classroom can support many of the skills. I'll keep you informed…