Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Creating a Technology-Rich School by Terry Freedman

I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this book by Terry Freedman. It was, however, not at all what I was expecting. I guess I thought it would include guidance on the sorts of facilities a school should provide to make a school 'technology-rich'. Instead it focused on creating and leading the vision of a technology-rich school. Not that this is a bad thing at all - it gives lots of good advice in how to lead successfully.

A vision
The book explains how to create a vision - what you want the end result to look like. 'What makes a vision more than a mere daydream is that it is underpinned by a strategy, i.e. a systematic plan for achieving that vision... It has to be believed in, and wanted, by others: your immediate colleagues, the school management team, non-teaching staff and parents and carers.' Freedman explains good reasons why it is vital that these people are part of your vision.

Sharing and planning the implementation of your vision
There is lots of really practical advice for how to show leadership and 'pull' people into your vision. Freedman explains, step by step, how to share the vision, ensuring that the vision is agreed with all staff in the department. Then a strategy should be created, which includes a set of broad aims which will lead to the realisation of the vision. Each aim should then be broken down into SMART targets. The strategy must take into account legislation and 'environmental' issues.

Implementing your vision
Every meeting should end with a list of action points, each of which are assigned to a named person and has a deadline attached. 'Action points and minutes are of no use unless they are referred to, therefore one of the first items on every meeting's agenda must be to follow up on the action points.' There is good advice for leadership of 'the vision':
  • Leaders should set the tone and the vision for the school's ethos and philosophy (leading by example)
  • Leadership should be distributed throughout the organisation, because empowering people to take responsibility is a powerful way of getting things done.
The book is very clearly about 'creating a technology-rich school' but I have taken away much more from it. I have learned various leadership and organisational techniques which can be applied to any management role.

Creating a Technology-Rich School by Terry Freedman can be purchased from http://www.ictineducation.org/ebooks/ for £1.99+VAT.
You can learn more from Terry Freedman's excellent website ICT in Education.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment