Let me start by saying that ICT in education has always been a passion of mine. Ever since I first brought my own computer into the classroom, I’ve been exploring ways of using technology to help learners learn. I spent years as a teacher and ICT co-ordinator implementing technology into schools, some things worked and some things didn’t always work as well as I had hoped. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my work and the job satisfaction that came with seeing pupils utilise ICT and learning with it.
When I left teaching and started on a project with Becta (that was a government agency promoting ICT in those days), I feared I would miss that job satisfaction. However, I found that job satisfaction came in a slightly different way. Having been a teacher, I have a highly positive regard for the profession and for schools and the work they do. My changing role meant that I was supporting educational ICT in a different way; instead of working directly with learners, I found myself working more with staff, schools and local authorities but still, ultimately, supporting the use of ICT to help learners learn.
Shortly after my first stint with Becta, I started working as a freelance trainer with Espresso Education. I did this for a little over two years and it was a great time. Once again, I was working more directly with staff in schools, demonstrating ways in which the Espresso product could be used in class to support pupil learning. This work was helped in that Espresso’s content was almost unique on the market and to a large extent it sold itself. Teachers felt that the content was extremely worthwhile and they could see the benefits to their pupils’ learning. Consequently, the training sessions were extremely rewarding.
I have also run training sessions on the Self Review Framework with schools and Local Authorities. This was very different in nature from the Espresso training. It meant that I was working with Senior Management Teams and whilst not working directly with curriculum technology, I felt the SRF was helping schools to make better implementation of their ICT provision, which consequently would improve the learning for pupils. I believe the SRF to be a great tool and I know many staff and schools, who have gone through it, feel the same; so again, the training has its rewards.
So for me, ICT training for teachers is an incredibly valuable and rewarding undertaking. It is an aspect of my work that I really enjoy and often wish I could do more.