Part of the talk I gave to head teachers also discussed making the most of your resources in school. I think that sometimes when technology is mentioned people think that this must mean we all have got to have iPads and all the latest software and gadgets. That’s not the case and not all schools can afford these things, yes they can be good to have but it’s not the be all and end all. I’ve researched in schools with very differing ICT situations from a school with a full suite to one that had 2 pc’s per class and that’s probably the reality for a lot of schools and this post is based on my own experience which may not be reflective across the board however I hope it’s of some help. So where could you start?
Well firstly check your resource room are there are wee hidden gems – I know in one school I found 6 bee bots doing nothing!! Bee bots are a great tool that can be used from Early Years right through. If there are no Bee bots why not head off to the gym hall and have the children work in pairs or groups (age dependent) and have them be the robots. The robot would then have to follow instructions given by their classmates to undertake a task or move around the room.
A couple of things that can be done when there is a lack of pc’s around the school. Firstly make use of the ones you have in your class create a timetable for during the week when children can get turns – yes this would take some advance planning. Another option would be to work with your local Secondary School. They generally have a few ICT rooms and I’m sure again with planning would be more than happy to have classes from their feeder schools come and make use of them (I’ve done this before and it worked really well plus it gave the children a chance to see inside the school they will eventually be heading off to.
As far as software goes make the most of what is on your authorities network as well as using Glow – some great resources and sites of interest on Glow for schools.
If you’re looking for help with getting started with what you have, why not contact your local STEM teams to get ambassadors or make links with local Colleges and Universities.