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Looking ahead to 2012
Saturday, December 31st, 2011 | Author:

2012 is going to be pretty big, probably the biggest year of my life so far in fact…but I’ll come to why, a little bit later. I’ll start with my school-based targets and projects for the year ahead.

The main projects that I am working on are all inter-connected and it will be a huge relief when they are finally finished. Although some of them will never be finished because of the nature of them, they will at least be in a better position to share with the masses.

Firstly, ICT planning. I wrote a few months back about my ICT Planning menu and my thoughts and visions for a new ICT curriculum. This has taken shape quite nicely recently but the more that I play with it and tinker with it, the more I think I need to make some changes before it is fully finished. I need to finish the assessment side of things so that the levels and objectives are clearly laid out and I need to make sure that there are lots of how-to videos on there too. These will also be added to www.undertenminutes.com which has been neglected of late. I have started writing some lesson plans for the site that give a ‘first look’ at a particular tool so that a teacher can take the lesson plan for say Popplet or Google Sketchup and try out a basic activity, they can then plan further lessons once they feel comfortable with the software.

Next? ICT Assessment. Alongside an exciting (or dull) ICT curriculum needs to be assessment. How do you assess it? How do you know if the children are making progress? I’ve started creating badges for different ICT areas. The idea is that a child can complete a task or project and they will then apply for a badge. This could be Bronze (level 2) or whatever they think theyt have achieved. The difficulty is finding levels and tasks to assess some of the areas. What does Level 4 in video editing look like? Or a Level 5 blogger? Do we need to assess like this? With the current national curriculum, we probably don’t, but what about for the pupils or teachers? Wouldn’t it be useful for them if they could see progression in research skills or digital literacy? I’m going to aim for the badges and assessment tasks to be written by February half-term and for us to be trialling them after that. It might work, it might not. But it has to be better than us not assessing ICT and then writing generic statements when the reports are written.

Another area that I have started concentrating on is home learning. With all of these amazing things going on, how do parents keep up? My plan is to create a site (well the site is created, the plan is to populate it) with content on different areas that parents are encouraged to use at home. The areas that I will focus on tend to be the traditional ones that parents ask about such as times tables, spelling and phonics but with some additional areas such as typing practise and learning french. The site will combine free tools that are out there as well as paid-for content that we have in school. The parents will then know where to find useful resources rather than being forced to ‘Google’ them or pay for content themselves. This will be ready by half-term too.

If 2011 was the year of blogging, then surely 2012 will be the year that the Digital Leaders will come to prominence. This year I have massive plans for my digital leaders. This starts next week with a range of different presentations at the BETT show but it will continue throughout the year when I will include them in most things that I do. They will be testing the ICT Assessment badges before the other children, they will be helping me to create resources for the planning site and they will attend conferences and meetings with me too. I want to organise a Kidsmeet later in the year and they will be at the forefront of organising this, contacting people and planning the content. They are eager to share their knowledge and it is my job, and my duty, to give them platforms to do this. I have already created a site, www.digital-leaders.co.uk, which can be used from digital leaders from my school and others as we start to build up a network of the amazing work these young children are doing.

The last thing that I want to push in 2012 is sharing. Yes this gets done through Twitter and in small pockets,but I want to really push this across the county and beyond. The Hampshire BLT site launched in the AUtumn term and I will be involved in hosting and running events for them to ensure that teachers get the chance to try new things. This will start with sessions on blogging or game design but I want to extend this to cover anything that the teachers want to discuss really. We will have to see how well this goes, but there is a definite need for schools to share more ideas and this could be a platform for them to achieve it.

Is that enough to be getting on with? The main target that I have as an ICT Coordinator, and it encompasses the first few on this list, is to make myself surplus to requirements. There are many times I’ve visited schools and seen that there is an amazing teacher in one subject or another and you wonder what would happen if they left. Now’ I;m not planing on leaving, but I want to get ICT to a point where I could leave and it wouldn’t matter. I want to ensure that the planning and assessment of ICT is embedded so well that I can just be there to help it tick over rather than to consistently create or innovate new things. The target that I was set was to get this in place by July 2012 and I think that we might achieve it in some areas, then I can use the next academic year to keep it moving slowly along. It’s a big ask, but something that needs to be done.

So why is 2012 so big personally? Firstly, I’m going to be running my first half-marathons in the next 6-10 weeks…but in-between those, at the end of February I turn 30. This is always a bit scary. There are mixed feelings for big birthdays, when you turn 18 or 21 these are seen as exciting birthdays but 30? That feels different. It feels like I need to be a grown-up.

There’s also the other big event of the year too. No not the Olympics, but the wedding. I get married in August and it’s starting to feel real now. I’m really looking forward to it and I think it will be an amazing day, I can’t wait to spend it with friends that I don’t see nearly often as I would like to. There are lots of things planned for the run-up to the big day and I am really looking forward to every aspect of it. Now I just need to shift some weight so that I look better in the honeymoon photos!!

So what are your big moments of 2012? What have you got planned?

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Looking ahead to 2011
Friday, December 31st, 2010 | Author:

Here goes, it’s that time when you look forward to all things new and we set ourselves some targets…so here are mine.

I guess I should start with school. So where do I see my school in a year’s time? We’ve made huge changes in the past term buying two netbook trolleys, redoing the whole network and beginning our curriculum change so what could be next?

Curriculum

I need to change the ICT curriculum. I also need to ensure that e-safety is fully embedded thoughout the school. This will be a mixture of existing plans from other schools, new plans that I have written and some plans taken from Rising Stars’ new Switched on ICT scheme of work. I’ve been lucky enough to see a bit of this and it looks very exciting. Some of this will slot in very nicely at my school.

Google Apps vs Live@edu

I wrote in the Summer about my Google/Live domain dilemma. Do I go with Google that looks all nice and configurable or do I go with the county decision and use Live@edu? After all I helped choose Live@edu, for reasons I discussed earlier. I had sort of decided to stick with the LA, I’d be a pilot school and would be able to change things if I needed. However a few months after it was due to be launched we’re still sitting and waiting. We might know more at the end of January, but you never know, it could be delayed again. I’m thinking that I need to have one or the other installed by March so I have a month or so to play and test with a small group before slowly dripping it out to staff over the Summer term and launch properly for September. So let’s hope that within 3 months I can update you on our position.  At the end of the day, I’m going to use whichever matches the need of our school, our staff and our children.

Children

I wrote a few weeks ago about my plan for the Digital Leaders, this is one of my favourite plans of the year. I can’t wait to see what this small group of children will achieve. Let’s hope they tell you all about it soon.

Software

I don’t think we’ll be getting any new software over the next year, it’ll be more about using what we already have and making the most of it. This will of course include lots of different web2 tech as well. I have already been given the go-ahead to start investigating using 13+ sites with our primary children. This will obviously be dealt with very carefully to ensure that our children are sfae and not subjected to any possibly dodgy libraries e.g. flickr or vimeo, but can use tools such as Voki and goanimate. I also want to fully extend our se of tools such as Purple Mash, BrainPop and J2E.

Hardware

Probably no new hardware this year either. 2011 is about using out 68 netbooks to their full potential. We might get a few more cameras or visualisers, but it’ll be smal rather than big purchases I think this year.

Other ICT Bits

I’ve spent some time recently looking at a number of frameworks. Now this isn’t to get the badge as such but I have found the 360safe and ICT Mark frameworks very useful in finding ways to improve ou ICT use. We have also been given the Data for Improvement guidance to ensure we are getting the most from our MIS system. These have helped to fine tune the ICT action plan for the school and I hope by the Summer we are in a position to have covered most of these frameworks and to have a clear plan of how to move forward.

I also want to introduce ICT assessment across the school and ensure children are aware of how they can improve their use of ICT and be able to self- and peer-assess.

Communication

In one term we have had 43,000 visits to our blogs (well 43,000 page views). This is massive but really only a few teachers write blog posts at the moment. I would say only 2 are completely independant. We have 11 classes plus a few other areas too so the only way is up. A low estimate would be to get to 150,000 by the end of Summer. With the children’s help, we will ensure that the teachers are confident blogging and sharing with their class and with their parents and this will hopefully lead to further links with other schools. I also want to get a class or two using Twitter. One class has just been given a few netbooks to have in their room permanently, so maybe I can convince her that writing for an audience will be a great little idea.

Conferences and Sharing

Obviously Bett stuff is quite high on the list. I am doing a presentation for 2simple, hopefully another for Scholastic and then spending some time with Brainpop. I will also be presenting at a Teachmeet Takeover and helping to organise, and presenting at, Teachmeet Bett. All in 3 days.

After Bett there are a number of other challenges and opportunities. I am running staff traning for 4 other schools within January alone, I am attending and presenting at an SSAT event at the end of January and have been invited to present at the Northern Grid Conference in the Summer. I am also running a couple of courses on the use of social media (Hampshire people, check here).

Of course the big one for me personally is Teachmeet. I want to have another Teachmeet before Easter and hope to have details of this within the next couple of weeks. They’re always so much fun and I hope lots of people can get involved.

Personal

After the house move and engagement last year, there are hopefully no big personal events this year. The most I will be attempting is to lose weight and get into some kind of shape for the wedding in 2012. The Weight Loss Challengey Thing (wlct) already has over 30 people taking part. Which means we should be able to support each other as we move towards our targets. I’ll also be attempting a run or two this year and will be in the Great South Run again in October.

So what are your targets or resolutions? These are just the ones that spring to mind, I’m sure there are other things I will be doing that I’ve missed out!

Category: blogposts, General Thoughts  | Tags:  | 2 Comments