ICT & Governors #2

This is Part 2 of a three-part series in which Terry Freedman looks at how schools can benefit from a governor’s interest in educational technology – and how the governor can reap rewards too. Part 1 can be read here

Isn’t being a school governor hard enough, and time-consuming enough, without someone suggesting you get even more involved? And with something like ICT which, let’s be honest, scares the pants off a lot of people. Well, the benefits of becoming more involved with the ICT in a school will depend to some extent on what sort of school (age group for example) you’re a governor of, but broadly speaking I would suggest the following reasons to get involved:

  • Where the ICT is used well, it’s fun. The classroom is an exciting place to be. If you’re in the sort of job where you have to look at presentations full of bullet points and a droning presenter, you’ll enjoy watching 5 year-olds showing the animated video they made last week to demonstrate the benefits of healthy eating!
  • If it isn’t used well, the school may well be taken to task by Ofsted. After all, a lot of money has been spent on ICT over the past 20 years, so people are expecting there to be some sort of return on the investment. Perhaps you could help the school address the issue.
  • If you’re dealing with a secondary school, and you run your own business, you could find the designer for your new website in the Business Studies or ICT classroom. Students need (or should have) real projects to do, rather than the tired old “Imagine you’re setting up a video rental store”.
  • And in the same vein, you could even be looking at your next apprentice, or technically astute new employee in the ICT GCSE class.
  • If you work for a company that is keen to “put something back” into the community, there are ways you can help it do so in the context of the school’s ICT provision.
  • Finally, if you’re looking for training facilities for your staff, perhaps you could use the school’s facilities after hours. And as a hands-on governor, surely you’d be entitled to expect some sort of discount…

Bottom line: ICT is a subject that can combine the best of the two worlds of theory and practical work. Kids love technology, and love talking about it. Being involved in a school which “buzzes” with ICT is a great way of getting a buzz yourself!

In the next article, I’ll be considering just how you can get involved, should you wish to.

Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant and journalist. He publishes the ICT in Education website and Computers in Classrooms, a free newsletter for everyone with an interest in educational ICT.

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