Conducting an Impact of new ICT's audit.
1. List all the significant* technologies that you have implemented in your school over the last 12 months. Put these in the first column of a spreadsheet and remember to include online services, software and physical devices in your list.
2. Estimate as a percentage (using observable data where possible) what proportion of a typical school day that technology is actively engaged in supporting teaching, learning or administrative functions within your school. Add a second column to your spreadsheet with this data.
3. Estimate as a percentage (using observable data where possible) what proportion of the school community actively use this technology. Add a third column with this percentage…
6. Multiply columns 2, 3 and 4 together to get answer 1. Multiply separately columns 5a and 5b to get answer 2. Divide the first answer by the second. (Does this sound like a child’s maths-magic trick?) You now have the answers! Do not expect the resulting metric to mean anything directly! What you have calculated is a comparative ‘impact’ rating. It’s not a perfect measure but it is an indicative measure.
What to do now you have completed the audit
Start from the high cost – low impact end of the list and do something about this potential waste of valuable funds. Do you need to provide better training to the users, configure it differently, give the technology to a completely different set of users who will use it better, or simply stop using that technology? Only you will know, but you can’t leave it being a potential waste in school resources.
In the example shown, clearly implementing LGFL's Staffmail service has been high impact for low cost - well worth the time invested. At the other end of the scale the Netbooks given to year 3 and 4 have cost a lot without confidence that they are having impact. Can you do anything to increase any of the impact measures - have them being used amongst a larger proportion of the school and therefore active for more of the school day. Can you provide training so that teachers see them as more valuable? If not should you move them to another part of the school or just make the decision to not buy any in future? These are all useful follow on questions that you will start asking once you begin doing analysis like this.
Feed these results and questions back to your ICT Steering Committee (which should include your finance manager, a member of the senior management team, the ICT coordinator and the technical manager) and decide how to act on this. Aim to do more low cost - high impact ICT and prove the research wrong.
Digital technologies can be powerful, inspirational, transformational tools in the classroom – but it is up to us to make that so.
Alex Rees, @alxr1
(This spreadsheet template is available for download from the Redbridge ICT & Computing Fronter room.)