Mark's First Visit
The first thing Mark does when he comes to a new school is to look at the infrastructure. If the IT infrastructure is out of date you can update all the equipment and still have a slow network and limited connectivity. Mark would look at the data cabinet, where the feed comes into the school, to assess the switches and find out how well the school network can flow data around. He will then look at the central server which (if adequately powerful) will centralise data and software and make administration of computers around the school a lot easier to cope with. Mark will identify the age and condition of all the computers, laptops and other devices round the school to see what still works and what devices are struggling or out of date and unable to access new software. He will then piece together an inventory of where the school sits in terms of its technology and the facilities available for teaching and learning. He will also look at the wireless network within the school. Traditionally wireless has been the use of domestic access points that you can buy cheaply from a computer store but these are not sufficient for large numbers of wireless devices. You will need an idea of how many you envisage in the school over the next 3 to 10 years and purchase wireless that can support that number of devices.
For this you need an ICT vision. Mark will sit down with you and help you to work out that vision based on what you want for your school and how the teaching staff wish to use ICT in their classes.
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." (Steve Jobs - Founder of Apple)
You need a school ICT vision for the future, most schools don’t know where to start. Major Seventh can help you create that vision and the infrastructure within the school to support it.
If you talk to any teacher, they are looking for new ways to engage children in learning. Teachers need to be excited about what they’re teaching and children need to be excited by what they’re learning. With that comes new technology.
There are so many things on the market now: it's an exciting time.
There are ways to use new devices creatively in your school. It simply requires a different approach: a new way of thinking. Traditionally schools have ICT suites because ICT was a subject in it\'s own right. Now ICT is cross-curricular; </span>there is a need for it in every subject. Technology is here to stay and it\'s important that our children are well prepared for the world and the workplace. Ipads or tablets, for example, are ultra portable and can be taken to areas of the school that traditionally didn’t have computers. The value of a tablet is to be able to use it in a completely different way to how you would traditionally use a computer. With a computer you switch it on and wait for it to boot up(which may take several minutes; sometimes longer). You would then login, possibly getting your password wrong the first time round as you try to hurry things along, so you log in again. That's 5 to 10 minutes for the whole process. Classes don’t have that time. An iPad or tablet is on instantly, the internet is available immediately. It's not a word processing tool, it’s a research tool. It’s a library in your hand and that’s the exciting thing about it. It’s swift, efficient and can be used in so many ways in class. The Nintendo DS, seen by many as simply a gaming device, has been used effectively in schools to engage children in brain training: spelling, times tables and much more.
Major Seventh staff visit key technology conferences and events each year to keep up to date with devices and software about to come on the market. We also keep our ear to the ground for ideas for ingenious uses of equipment in classrooms. We bring that knowledge back to you so you can adapt elements that are interesting to suit your teaching methods and try something new. There always has to be something innovative that is going to inspire and make children interested in their learning. That’s not to diminish the interest of the subject ,or the way the teacher is able to teach, but to enhance those lesson experiences. Technology changes at a more rapid pace than vision can cope with so what we need to aim for with our vision in schools is identify our way of teaching and then adapt the technology of the time to that.