Back in 2011 we embarked on an ambitious vision for ICT at Newington. It was dramatic, but in many ways it was ‘easy’. Although it would herald a long, hard slog from a talented and committed team, the easy part was that we were working from a standing start. We needed to do things like:
- Researching and establishing a BYOD vision and practice,
- Building infrastructure from scratch: our classrooms, servers, network and other systems,
- Building a fresh set of online systems: communication portal, Learning Management System, and more.
Four years later, we still have a little polishing to go, but by and large we’ve managed to deliver on all of our ambitious goals. We’ve refreshed the systems, begun shifting culture and skills, morphed much of our practice into something really exciting.
The temptation now is to focus just on the (admittedly difficult) challenge of consolidating and embedding practice, but otherwise ‘coasting’ – leaving things as they are but not necessarily stretching ourselves.
As 2016 kicks off, though, it feels like at Newington we’re on the cusp of some really exciting new developments in learning and teaching. We’re continuing to explore and develop ways to engage all boys in their learning; to use data in authentic ways that empower students and equip teachers for the future. ICT can and should play a pivotal role in supporting – and driving this change. The world has dramatically changed and we need to pioneer approaches, systems and techniques that can help our teachers and students more intelligently use information and communicate effectively.
So what is a new strategy going to look like? This summer we’ve begun drafting a new three-year plan. It’s going to comprise four main components:
- A set of observations and some analysis about with our ‘best guess’ at what 2018 is going to be like.
- A clear vision for an ICT response to that – and a set of goals through to 2018.
- A new team structure to get us there
- A methodology – we’re going to be scrum-based in our approach.
It’s going to be an interesting ride. I’ve no doubt there’ll be some excitement about future opportunities; there will also likely be some challenge – perhaps a little genuine pain – in the short term as we make some adjustments. We’ll be developing new ways of operating and a lot needs to change. In the coming month I look forward to sharing a little of where we’re heading.