Your vision will present a compelling rationale for change. It will describe the benefits of committing time and funds to the project. You will return to it frequently to check the principles behind your decision making. The following list will provide you with some starting points for your vision:
- To enhance the learning that takes place both within and outside of the classroom.
- To provide students with an easily accessible Internet connection that will enable them to take advantage of the world of online learning.
- To reduce spending on other areas of ICT hardware in the school.
- To respond to the offer being made by competitor schools.
Once articulated, the vision should be shared with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), in the first instance, to test and establish its credibility before being shared more widely.
It is also vital to ascertain whether the project is financially viable. There are cost savings to help justify expenditure over time but there will be significant start-up costs in the first few months. Calculating these costs is covered in detail in later sections; your decisions will be shaped by your budget.
It is important to keep your governors fully informed; you will be asking them to commit funds over the coming months. Get them on board and engaging with your vision from the outset. Attend governing body meetings, model the use of the iPad for presentations and demonstrate their advantages. It is likely that you will be known as an “early-adopter” but the iPad’s ubiquity today will be compelling. You may be fortunate enough to have Governors who use them professionally.
The vision should also be shared more widely: heads of department, pastoral leaders and the whole staff. Listen to their feedback and be prepared to answer their questions and discuss their concerns.
I would also advise you to share your thoughts with parents. You may be able to do this via a parents’ forum or PTFA group. Bring the community’s words into the vision statement when possible. Few will argue that doing nothing is the answer.
My approach to creating a vision for the future use of ICT
I spent some time putting together the vision for the direction of ICT in school:
“As an outstanding school with outstanding teaching we are exploring ways to improve teaching and learning in our classrooms. It is my belief that tablets provide this opportunity, but we must undertake a full evaluation of their use and potential rather than introduce them simply because they are available.
The main teaching and learning drivers for developing an iPad 1:1 delivery model are:
- an additional tool to enhance learning in the classroom
- provide access to technology and the internet 24/7
- to support personalised learning in school and at home.”
I then wrote of the need for us to invest in a high specification wifi network that would require a full site survey.
It was then important to highlight the possible next steps we could take once the wifi network was established in school:
- Enable students to utilise their own devices – a bring your own device approach.
- Set up a scheme that allows parents to buy a device that their children will be able to use in school and at home.
- The school buys each student a device that they can use in school and at home.
I provided a number of different costing scenarios for purchasing iPads and outlined my commitment to Free School Meal students (this was later amended to Pupil Premium students).
This is the timeline that I followed in the early stages of the iPad pilot.
|March||Wrote the ICT vision|
|Shared with SLT|
|April||Shared the vision with all governors, staff and parents.|
|May||Search for suppliers of iPads.|
|Advertised for interested staff to take part in the iPad pilot.|
|June||Set up classroom with wifi for the pilot|
|Training given to pilot staff by Apple Distinguished Educator.|
|Pilot in one classroom begins.|
|Put together tender document for school wide wifi.|
|Weekly meeting with teachers involved in the pilot.|
|July||Review the tenders and select a company to undertake the wifi installation.|
|Summer||Wifi installation takes place|
Creating a vision for the future use of ICT checklist
- Create vision
- Discuss vision with SLT
- Calculate approximate costs
- Can the school afford to go ahead with this project?
- Share vision with governors
- Share vision with staff
- Share vision with parents
* I shared the outline for this series of posts about introducing iPads into schools in a previous post: “a commitment to write a guide to: Introducing iPads into your school”
Steve is Deputy Head at Devonport High School for Boys. I have an interest in AfL and the use of technology to promote learning and teaching. I'm a proud dad and husband, and enjoy travelling, playing water polo, photography and spending time with my friends and family.