ICT in schools nowadays is vital. There are many things, both pastoral and academic teaching, that would not be able to be done without ICT to facilitate it or to help save time over doing the same things manually. Over the past year, ICT in schools has become even more visible due to schools having to identify ways of being able to deliver lessons and keep in touch with pupils and parents remotely. Some schools and MATs will have found this easier than others. Why would that have been?
Good planning practices
In essence, a MAT that had a detailed ICT Vision and Strategy that already featured a move to a more Virtual Learning Environment would have found the past year a bit easier. However, it is not just for the past year that an ICT Strategy would help, it is essential for the successful implementation of any ICT Project. If it is already planned for in the ICT Strategy, then implementation is likely to be smoother.
Is an ICT Strategy really vital?
The short answer is yes. It can be tempting to skip the planning stage and just get to the doing, i.e. implementation, but it will become increasingly difficult to run your ICT effectively without the guiding map of an ICT strategy. No strategy, or a poorly thought through one, can lead to fragmentation of your ICT delivery and ICT initiatives that are perhaps not robust enough to continue in the long term. This could ultimately have a detrimental effect on how education is delivered and supported.
Don’t worry if you find yourself in this kind of position - all is not lost. We recommend to our clients that they carry out a ‘Current State Review’. To allow you to determine what is or is not working quite so well. The next step is then to build into your ICT Strategy how you are going to improve your ICT and put a plan in place to ensure that all ICT initiatives that have been implemented, or about to be implemented, are in line with your new or improved ICT Strategy. Taking these steps will ultimately lay the foundations for smooth project implementation.
Take the time to develop a solid ICT Strategy, it is time well spent. Creating it will need input from an ICT Strategy Group or, if such a group doesn’t exist, a senior group of teachers from multiple subjects as well as the MAT’s Senior Leadership Team will work just as well. You will then be able to see what your strategic priorities are and understand where to focus your efforts and budget wisely.
If your MAT or school isn’t in the position to develop an ICT Strategy right now, then consider bringing in outside experts like Novatia – we can make this happen for you.
I have my ICT Strategy, what’s next? The implementation phase
You have your ICT Vision and Strategy; you know what ICT Initiatives you need to implement and in what priority. It’s now down to planning the operational specifics of delivering the ICT projects.
The 3 Ps: Planning, planning and planning! You can certainly hope for the best, but you should definitely plan for the worst. Key areas to consider to facilitate smooth implementation are:
- start planning early
- have a clear goal
- know what your budget is
- be clear on the requirement for success
- understand your IT team skillset
- build an evaluation phase into the timing
- plan for training on using the new ICT initiative.
For more detail on how we recommend implementing a successful ICT Project, then download our Novatia Note: Planning an ICT Project – six steps towards successful implementation.
The operational elements of a project implementation are naturally important and without that careful planning a project can easily be derailed.
What is fundamental before you get to the operational implementation aspect though, is having a clear and detailed ICT Vision and Strategy. Through this, you will have a clearer picture of your strategic priorities and understand where to focus your efforts and budget.
Watch the Webinar
Like to learn more? Andy Waring has made a FREE webinar ''Implementing ICT projects- during and beyond a crisis."
For further details and the recording, click here.
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If you would like further help and would like to speak directly to us, get in touch either by phone on 01962 832632 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to provide guidance.