Blog 10: Being an ICT coordinator

For the first 6 years of my career I was an ICT coordinator by title, but not by role. My chief duties appeared to be fixing printers, checking cables were connected and trying desperately (to little avail) to get others using the limited ICT resources the way I was using them.  

Eventually I moved on to a school which was very well equipped with ICT equipment, and pleasingly, teachers that were not afraid to use it. That is not a slight at the colleagues at my previous school, as we had little available to utilise.  After week one it quickly became very apparent that the emphasis and expectation on me as ICT leader was far greater than I had previously experienced.  Mild panic set in! I felt out of my depth and unsure as to whether or not I deserved my TLR position at school.

A couple of weeks passed, and I was holding my own, but felt that I was ineffective and unsure whether or not what I was doing was right or wrong (despite assurances from a very supportive management team). Then three things happened that changed everything for me:

  1. I attended iThink Therefore iPad at Manchester University.  I have previously blogged about this experience.  It really opened my eyes to the possibility of technology in the classroom and the effectiveness of technology as a administrative, teaching and learning tool.
  2. I was persuaded by @raff31 to attend Teach Meet Bolton 2012 (also previously blogged about). The ideas and innovations that were shared further opened my eyes, and gave me plenty of ideas to take back to school and share.  My SMT also attended, so selling them on the ideas was easy!
  3. I joined Twitter. Without Twitter I would not be doing half the job I am today.  So many great ideas everyday from so many inspirational and HELPFUL people. Thanks to so many colleagues on Twitter I now feel up to date and in control of my responsibilities at school. We now have a Google Apps set up, class blogs with heavy traffic thanks to @100wc, @redgierob and @deputymitchell, and our policies and documentation are consistently up to date.
Now my role comprises a huge number of areas, from curriculum monitoring, ideas gathering and sharing, staff training (I run weekly drop ins, covering may areas from green screening to e safety), parent workshops, budgeting, coordinating resources, overseeing the school blog page, training digital leaders, attending further ideas sharing 'meetings' and much more. A far greater list than my previous school.  My aim now is to act as a mentor to new ICT coordinators, people who are where I was two years ago.

If I could give three pieces of advice it would be:
  1. Join Twitter and network. Collaborate with colleagues.
  2. Look out for Teach Meets and similar near you.
  3. Talk to your colleagues at school. What are their needs?
All in all it has been a very eventful, but enjoyable year and a bit so far, and I am looking forward to what will come in the future (Ofsted inspection excluded).

I would like to take this opportunity to say a thank you to all my colleagues on Twitter that have helped me. Far too many to list, but it all started with @raff31!

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