Monday, 30 January 2012

The Times They Are a-Changin'

Earlier today I met with headteacher colleagues to share thoughts on how we are going to build ICT into our learning and teaching in the next few years and what type of hardware we should be providing for pupils and staff. With a background in Physics, as I do, I have always been interested in gadgets and utilising technology to enhance learning. The rate at which technology is advancing and the fact that we have finite budgets poses particular challenges for school leaders as we prepare our pupils for an increasingly technological world.

In all of Edinburgh's schools it is planned to have wifi in place by the end of 2013. This is a really exciting development. Such a facility offers enormous potential for us as teachers to embrace and utilise technology in different and more creative ways. By way of example, almost all of our pupils have devices (phones and other hand held digital devices) that are capable of connecting to the internet. Should we continue to ban these from being used in classrooms or do we change tack and encourage teachers and pupils to integrate them more fully into classroom learning? How do we ensure that pupils who cannot afford the latest gadgets are not disadvantaged? How we do ensure that learning is enhanced rather than diminished by a more technological approach? What support and professional development do we offer staff and parents to prepare them for this type of learning?

If you have thoughts on the answers to these questions then I would like to hear from you!

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