ICT and Governors #3

This is the final part in Terry Freedman’s series to help Governors with ICT. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here
Hello again! Well, you’re reading this, so I have to assume you’ve been swayed by my elegant prose in the last two articles, and want nothing more than to roll up your sleeves and get involved with your school’s ICT! The good news is that there are lots of ways in which you can do so.
If you don’t have much time to spare, there is no need to feel left out. Here are some ways you might be able to help the school:

  • Donate old equipment. While it’s true that computers are much cheaper these days, they still represent a large outlay for the school. It may be that the school library could do with an extra computer, perhaps just to be used for word processing homework or carrying out research on the internet. Maybe the art room would benefit from a computer to be used for graphics software. Before selling the computer on EBay or disposing of it, ask the school if it would be of any use.
  • Make materials available for students. Nobody is suggesting that you devote loads of time and energy to creating resources, but you may have stuff already that pupils would find useful. For example, secondary school Business Studies students or Media students , as well as ICT students, may find your brochure useful. Why not offer the school 50 copies each year?
  • If your firm, or you personally, subscribe to a computer magazine, instead of throwing them away when the new edition comes out, why not drop them in to the school?
  • At governors’ meetings, ask how the ICT is being used, and how well? Ask if the school has considered going for the ICT Mark, a sort of kitemark which indicates that the school is doing really well as far as ICT is concerned?
  • Make sure you know what the school’s vision for ICT is (especially if the school decides to try for the ICT Mark). And if the school doesn’t have a vision for its use of ICT, perhaps you could help them draft one?
  • Ask for access to the school’s Learning Platform. There ought to be a governors’ area, where you can find out what’s going on. If there is a forum (and if there isn’t, press for one), discuss with other governors how the ICT could be made even better. If you’re able to, leave comments on the pupils’ blogs or work. Do make sure you receive training from the school in how to use the Learning Platform and other programs as required.

If you can spare a bit more time, here are some ways you could adopt a more hands-on approach:

  • Visit the school. When I was a Head of ICT I used to really value my link governors’ visits, partly because of their insights (a fresh pair of eyes is always good), partly because I hoped they would argue my case for more money at the next governors’ meeting (!) and partly because it made me feel that what I was doing was regarded  as important enough for a busy person to want to take an interest in it.
  • If you do visit, talk to the youngsters. Ask them what they’re doing, and why. Challenge them!
  • Offer to give talks to the pupils about ICT is used where you work, or how you use it personally.
  • Sit down with the pupils and discuss their project ideas with them. Would the ideas work in the real world? Why not?

Have I convinced you that not only is your school’s ICT worth getting involved in, but also that it’s not that difficult to do so? Great! So what are you waiting for?!
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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One comment

  • Terry
    they idea of having a governors forum on the VLE is a bit of a nonsense really. In order to keep any digital forum vibrant or useful, it really needs a minimum of about 25-50 active contributors.
    Even getting ALL 20 govs in a large secondary using the forum is not going to make that possible.
    There are plenty of governor forums already active out there which would be of much more use

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