With a greater range of technology available today than ever before, the potential to create inspiring teaching and learning has never been more exciting. However, with so much technology to choose from, selecting the best options to match the needs of your school – and your budget – can seem daunting.
When St Nicholas Church of England First School wanted to update its classroom displays and create a digital learning zone, it asked its trusted ICT partner, Concero, to help make sense of the options available.
Understanding the needs of schools
‘Over the last couple of years, it has been our priority to upgrade our ICT provision,’ explains St Nicholas Headteacher, Jodie Parker. ‘It was really important that whatever was put in place was cost effective and future proof, and that the children were accessing the technologies they needed.’
Concero has a history of providing ICT services to schools since 1999, so it understands how technology can be used effectively to support teaching and learning. As many of the Concero team have a background in education themselves, they are best-placed to help schools create the highest quality learning environments for their pupils.
‘We are about more than ICT support,’ notes Alan Foster, Head of Learning Technologies at Concero. ‘I have worked as a teacher and as a local authority advisor so my team understands how schools want to use technology to enhance the curriculum and support progress.’
Working closely with the staff at St Nicholas, Concero developed a strategic three to five year ICT development plan for the school, taking into account its existing infrastructure, its curriculum goals and its budget.
‘We recommended that the school install Clever Touch interactive TVs in classrooms as a more cost-effective alternative to simply replacing the existing whiteboards and projectors,’ recalls Andy Cunningham, Programme and Compliance Director at Concero. ‘We sourced and installed these state-of-the-art displays and provided training for staff to ensure that the new screens were being used to their full potential.’
‘The touch-screen technology allows up to ten children to write on the screen at the same time, providing more opportunity for the use of ICT in the classroom and greater levels of pupil engagement.’
Ryan Gough, a Class Teacher at the school adds: ‘The installation of interactive TVs means children can lead the learning on the screens and model their understanding to others. And this is in addition to long-term cost savings as we don’t need to maintain and replace projectors and bulbs.’
Smart, cost-effective solutions
St Nicholas also wanted to use develop an ICT hub to support the learning of children across the school but didn’t have the budget to invest in new equipment. Using the school’s existing kit, Concero created a cost-effective and space-efficient ‘ICT Highway’ along one of the school’s corridors where up to ten children can work side-by-side at wireless workstations. This provides a much-needed alternative to setting up laptops for group work in a busy classroom.
‘The ICT Highway was a very cost-effective solution because Concero was able to use existing equipment and upgrade it for us, which my governors are happy with and my parents and children are delighted with!’ adds Headteacher Miss Parker.
The school describes the service provided by Concero as ‘professional and personalised’, with familiar ICT support staff on hand to provide assistance. ‘Concero manages each project efficiently and its quality assurance process means they work with us to get the right outcome,’ says Mr Gough. ‘We are always provided with different costing options, which we are able to discuss in detail with them and select from, according to our needs.’