Creating an ICT Vision and Strategy for Your School
Does your school have an ICT vision and strategy?
You are not alone if you haven’t invested time in creating one. Many schools make reactive purchasing decisions. This could be because technology has broken and needs to be fixed or replaced or that budget needs to be spent by a particular point in the year. This really isn’t the best use of budget in the long term.
The big question is, how should schools decide to spend their finite resources?
One solution is to have a clear ICT vision and strategy. But when we ask headteachers the question “What’s your ICT vision and strategy?” they often can’t answer it, because they don’t know. That’s not surprising because they are primarily educators, not technology experts.
As ICT underpins today’s modern lifestyle, it is essential that all pupils gain the confidence and ability that they need using technology to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world. The use of ICT will enhance and extend children’s learning across the whole curriculum whilst developing motivation and social skills.
Below are three examples of vision statements from schools across the UK:
- Flexible ICT throughout the whole school utilising cloud-based technology, offering a range of devices for pupils continuing to provide a secure and safe environment for pupils to learn using technology everyday
- We aim to continue to foster a culture of using ICT to support children in becoming confident and successful learners. To achieve this we have in place appropriate ICT to allow all learners, children and staff, to make considered choices with regard to using a range of devices to advance their learning, attainment and achievement.
- ICT should provide a stimulating and enjoyable set of tools enabling good quality teaching and learning to take place. It should be a vehicle through which each curriculum area as well as administration are supported. It should allow all children to make excellent progress and enable teachers to teach more efficiently and effectively. It should also enable the increased participation of parents and carers’ in their children’s learning.
Vision statements can be underpinned further with Aims which will help develop your ICT strategy. We’ve collated some real-life examples:
- To enhance and extend children’s learning across the whole curriculum whilst developing motivation and social skills.
- Offer equal entitlement of ICT to all pupils.
- Raise levels of teacher competence and confidence in integrating and using a range of different technologies into their planning, teaching and assessment of children’s work.
- For children to have access to a range of ICT resources including emerging technologies.
- For children to achieve success in ICT by learning the skills set out in our scheme of work.
- To allow children the opportunity to choose and use ICT creatively in all areas of the curriculum enabling them to see the relevance of ICT in everyday life.
- To make children aware of inappropriate use of ICT and how to use ICT responsibly.
- To use ICT to promote links with parents and the wider community.
At it’s highest level you may wish to keep your strategy simple. We’ve highlighted a typical example below:
- A safe and secure environment for pupils, teachers and support staff to learn, work and collaborate across multiple devices and environments.
- Ease of use for pupils, teachers and support staff is paramount. Devices, applications and data available when required and from any location.
- ICT has high availability and minimal downtime with no disruption during school and teaching staff working hours.
- Whatever ICT is being used for within the curriculum, content and usage is engaging for the students.
A successful strategic plan includes a defined set of educational outcomes and a proposed pathway to try to get there. Most importantly, a successful strategic plan is not a shopping list or a budget, it involves much more than simply buying resources. The changes in attitudes and ideas which come from planning sessions will be more important than the new technologies themselves.
Once your vision and high-level strategy is agreed you can then work with your ICT provider to help you build a bottom up approach to implementing your strategy and realising your vision.
Written by Johnathon Martin
A former teacher, SLT member and IT lead, now Google Certified Trainer looking after our clients as head of the Client Success Team