Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sharing an ICT suite?

My school has a limited number of computers, as do most schools. Some classes are too big to take into a computer suite but other groups (most notably, A level classes and SEN classes) are quite small and often when I use the computer suites some of the machines do not get used.

The powers that be (surely that should be "The powers which are"?) have decreed that from next half term when booking a computer room teachers book a number of computers rather than the room. To maximise the use of resources. So, if I have 20 students in a class and there are 30 PCs in the room, then someone else can bring (or perhaps, send?) 10 students to "fill the room".

My classroom seats 30 students. For most of my classes there are some empty seats each lesson. How many of us, I wonder, would be happy if another teacher wandered into our classroom saw half a dozen empty seats and said, "Can these kids come in, sit at the back, and do their coursework?"?

To me an ICT suite is an extension of my classroom with the same rules. When I book a suite it is for the purpose of the Teaching and Learning of Modern Languages not babysitting some kids whose coursework wasn't good enough whilst checking my facebook page.

It's a terrible shame that my school has spent many thousands of pounds on PCs and software for most departments to use the equipment to type coursework using Microsoft Word. Couldn't they do coursework at home? Does coursework need to be word-processed?
Is this really maximising the use of resources?

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