It’s been a busy month. 4 weeks of term have gone and I feel like I haven’t stopped for a second. I know I wrote about my first week, but we have achieved so much more since then.
There are still a few minor niggles and not all of the software has been installed, but we are definitely getting there. The netbook trolley is now booked out most lessons and some have been ‘borrowed’ by KS1 so they can do small mini-ICT with their children too. The flip cameras have gone down a storm ad have been used to add to our blogs (below) and to just showcase PE lessons and drama.
We also bought a visualiser which was very quickly nabbed by a Y5-6 teacher and has been used to show marking on the board, children’s writing and the best bit? Showing children how to sew. £85 well spent and I think we’ll be getting more very soon!
We had a LOT of software in school. This included CDROMs that I’d never heard of and were not used. So we have tidied up a lot of it, thrown some, installed some and invested in others. I will be making guides and help notes for all software in school so teachers are aware of what we have and what it does. But in just 4 weeks we have had teachers using 2paint, 2diy and next week starting on 2Create a Super Story too. This includes a quick go at Purple Mash, J2E and iboard too. I’ll blog about those later!
The original plan consisted of two classes starting a blog this half term with the others having a go later on once it was up and running. That went out of the window right away. Class 6 loved the idea and then they started. So the plan became ‘let’s have 3 classes trialling it’ and then another started and another and the plan was torn up (electronically) and we let teachers have a play. I now have the situation where a teacher feels bad as she is the only one in Year 3-4 not blogging so wants to do it and try something whizzy! At the time of writing our blogs have been viewed 5,100 times in 4 weeks. That is just mental. I’m amazed how quickly staff have taken to it.
We are now at the stage where I have stopped approving comments on blogs and I have passed this on to the teachers. Also, 3 of the blogs contain videos, 1 of children making pizza, 1 of children reading out their literacy and another of our emphatic cup win. We have used video so much already I am considering setting up class accounts on Viddler. We had set-up one account but I soon realised that it would work better with 1 per class. It gives a 2gb limit and isn’t blocked like youtube or vimeo.
Both the blogs and the website went down very well with staff, governors and the PTA and it has now been launched to parents. Reactions seem positive from the few I have spoken to and hopefully it will develop into a huge resource for parents, children and staff.I intend to make guides for how to use various resources and include them all on the website in appropriate language for different audiences. This includes our Facebook guide and will include guides for the websites and tools we use in school.
The Governors and PTA now have logins so that they can add useful dates, minutes and other documents too.
We have also added a CEOP button so that any e-safety problems can be reported to either us or CEOP.
One issue with using the website and blogs is the use of photos. We have around 35 children who cant have their image online and through some careful negotiations and explanations with parents I am slowly reducing that number. I want to ensure the blogs and website showcase our school and I want to include the children in that journey too.To do this I need to have the support of the parents and I think they are happy to join us for this ride!
Someone asked me how I plan ICT. Currently it is ‘let’s see what is cool and shiny and let’s go for it’. It is sort of linked to the topic and it’s going very well but it isn;t linked to the national curriculum or QCA. I am probably meeting a lot of the objectives, but that isn’t my main aim at this stage, that will come later. I have planned up to half-term for everyone and will spend the next couple of weeks doing the next half-term. I now have copies of all curriculum planning for the rest of the year so I can begin to plan ICT in a more strategic way to ensure it matches to the rest of the curriculum and enhances it rather than being a random stand-alone subject. Luckily there are a few other teachers I know via Twitter who are helping me to plan all of this!
My Mondays are for working with teachers and showing them how to use something or supporting them if they need it. What with start of term and inset we’ve only had 2 Mondays so far but on both I have worked with teachers and it has gone well. This coming Monday I will be team-teaching with a teacher to use 2Create a Super Story. I can’t wait as I’ve never used it with children either!
I’m not all about ICT and in fact only teach it for about 5 lessons a week, but it is my main focus in school. I have learnt lots already in just 4 weeks and I have to be hugely adaptable as I will be teaching an able 5-6 maths set one day and learning number bonds to ten the next. It’s great fun in one class as Milton the monkey joins in with our numeracy work (yes it’s the year 1-2 class!)
I was talking to a couple of teachers today about how much we achieved in just 4 weeks. It’s been incredible. In the next 2 months we will be ensuring we have a solid ICT action plan in place, putting AUPs and policies together for staff and putting a more structured ICT curriculum together. As well as trialling various software, running e-safety events, introducing a VLE and cloud solution and trying to keep up the momentum we’ve started! Oh and my girls’ football team will be having their first matches too!
PS…And yes, 4 weeks have gone already. I’m not in school tomorrow and September is over so I make that 4 weeks!