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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

And all of God's people said... Amen!

There is something quite lovely about denominational schools - whenever I visit them, they just seem to ooze an ethos in a way that non-denominational schools don't even get close to. Somehow both staff and pupils seem steeped in a sense of purpose and common vision - and I mean those terms without the baggage of jargon.

Today I had a twilight in St. Andrew's Primary on the isle of Bute. The school has been through a great period of change, and tonight we were looking at using an interactive whiteboard in the classroom. I've got to tell you though - oh my goodness - I could not handle the pace if I were a member of this staff - talk about quick - a million miles per hour working through tasks and constantly asking "how do you..." and "how does it..." - absolutely brilliant. I can't put into words how fantasic it is too see staff enthusiastic about the use of technology in the classroom after what I know is a long day at school.

Also, (and this is quite magnificent) one of the staff (and I'm sorry that I can't remember your name) mentioned that you could save notebooks of pupils work electronically instead of printing them out as evidence and before I even had a chance to say something about this, another member of staff said that it would be easy to store all of them in individual folders that the parents could look at - hallelujah! - Now, if I could only convince another 92 schools of the benefits of saving rather than printing...

I was reminded of the great quality resources available on the BBC website and of the importance of giving teachers the tools they need to get on with their jobs - because do you know what? The dedicated professionals will not just run with it - they will soar. Tonight I met staff who I have no doubt would make great use of interactive technology if only they had constant access to it. What we need to do is convince the politicans that this is what they need to invest in.

Sorry for no freebies Kathleen, but hopefully I have shown you and your staff how to make better use of the technology you have. The picture for today is the staff playing with Comic Life on a SMART Board using an iSight camera - all of this with next to no input from me..


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