A discussion on the Computing At School website here prompted me to think about how I have gone about changing and introducing change to a digital strategy in school.
Even before I know exactly what I want to do I would always start with a staff meeting – even anonymously posting ideas on to a Padlet – but you can share an audit of skills or examine what they do now.. CPD the needs to be a huge part of your strategy, different staff to access different skills and to share across the school what they are doing.
From there I would look at the curriculum, there is lots of information out there to help with this, and you will need a whole school decision about the curriculum before you commit. However you can begin with a look at what i've done here and also a general look here by @michaelt1979. Lots of support from NAACE here too.
Devices and Resources
Begin with what devices you already have, I think most aspects of the new curriculum can be reached on laptops / computers but the chances are, if you carry out an audit of what resources are in school, you will be able to begin to plan activities which fit with the new curriculum.
From there look for gaps. I'm a fan of a choice of tech in the classroom for group / individual use, but that won't work everywhere. Plot what's missing and begin to budget.
This brings me to one of the most overlooked part of the strategy – technical support and advice! When carrying out an audit of resources use your technical support! Ensure that the devices you do have work properly! Nothing will discourage staff from experimentation than faulty computers or dodgy WiFi. Budget for technical support, especially if you are planning to buy more equipment. Good technical support will also be able to advise on purchases, improving WiFi and to give ideas for curriculum use.
Teacher and Pupil Champions!
Teacher champions will be vital in getting the curriculum up and running, particularly if you are buying new equipment. The ICT coordinator can begin with a project, and then share any success with staff. Pupil Digital Leaders (wide community here) can be trained to use certain programmes then lead that with their class or troubleshoot to support staff. For example how the interactive whiteboards should be set up.
Again CPD will be needed at this stage – share the use of simple programming skills such as Scratch – or regsiter for a Code Club Volunteer here.
My final advice for software s to think creatively! When lesson planning work with staff to find what they want to do and source tools that do that. There is lots and lots of help out there! For example using Google Sketch Up for 3D Design.
There is always plenty of providers ready to offer solutions:
do check with your Local Authority - some source group discounts for licenses.
Espresso Coding – their answer to the coding elements of the new curriculum.
Purple Mash and their range of 2Simple Software offer solutions as well.
Use iPads – lots of apps support the new curriculum.