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The Vision for ICT

"
Where there is no vision, the people perish". - Proverbs 29:18

Underpinning the successful ICT work that is seen in many schools today will usually be a vision that ICT is not just a subject to be 'delivered', but that ICT offers an approach to teaching and learning that can transform the school as a learning institution.

The school's vision for ICT will be something that sits well with the school's ethos, beliefs and values. The school's vision for ICT will probably describe a point in time when ICT systems, electronic curriculum materials, teaching and learning methods and curriculum organisation will have reached a level of development where significant gains in learning for all pupils will be achieved.
 
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A vision
for ICT should not be something so ideal as to be unattainable. A vision for ICT should describe an achievable future for the school.  There is enough available evidence to confirm that ICT is a very special phenomenon that has the power to improve learning and to change the way we organise it. Members of this association have contributed their own visions of how this might occur in the Naace publication 'The Impact of ICT on Schooling'.

During 2003 , a DfES-sponsored Naace Think Tank on 'Transforming Learning' produced a paper called 'Inspiring Change through ICT'. This document outlines priorities and strategies which need to be put in place over the next few years if the national vision of ICT as a force to transform learning is to be achieved.

A vision for ICT in a school should seek to complement national developments in this area.
It will probably also address the following key points :

  How to further develop the subject of ICT and the use of ICT in subjects
  How to improve the skills
that pupils have in order to promote effective learning using ICT
  How to develop the way that teaching is organised so as to maximise its effectiveness. 

The vision is the starting point on this journey. A vision should ideally be backed up with beliefs which explain why traveling this journey is justified. Those beliefs will take what we know about how ICT can improve teaching and learning and relate this to the core purposes of the school.

Taking a school along this journey can be confusing unless the route is clear. An important feature of successful development planning for ICT is to be clear about what should be in an ICT policy, what should be in an ICT development plan, and what should be in an ICT handbook. Placing things in their correct place will clarify the way that a vision will be achieved.

A policy can be used to communicate the vision to the school community, and to explain the beliefs that underpin it. A policy explains what is intended to happen and the process through which it will happen.
Policy - a course of action, guiding principle, or procedure considered expedient, prudent, or advantageous

A set of principles can be identified in order to determine how decisions will be made.
Principles are much more useful than rules in this respect. To achieve the same task we may need hundreds of rules, but it could also be achieved with very few principles.
Principle - a basic or essential quality or element determining intrinsic nature or characteristic behavior


A development plan will sit alongside the policy. It will explain in detail the parallel developments that will need to take place in order to achieve the vision with the intended timeframe.

Procedures for how the day to day organisation of the plan will function are best separated from the policy. It is common for a school ICT policy to have the main messages swamped by rules and procedural issues. Procedures, guidance, rules and other operational matters should be placed in a handbook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Useful Links

 
  Strategic Leadership in ICT (SLICT)
Impact2 - The impact of ICT (Becta)
What the research says . . about workload, CPD, laptops, virtual learning (Becta)
 
 

Downloadable files  
 

The Impact of ICT on Schooling - Naace members' views
Inspiring Change through ICT
Inspiring Change through ICT (summary)
From Computers to Attainment - slides and commentary  (right click>save target as..)