Wednesday, 23 March 2011

New Technologies Handbook for Schools

Welcome to The New Technologies Handbook for School. This book is meant to be a tool. By all means set aside some time to read it cover to cover but more usefully use it periodically as a tool to help you lead your school into the 21st century. I have written it with school leaders in mind as the initial readers but I'm expecting them to use the 'site licence' to copy pages and send them to colleagues in school, don't underestimate the impact passing someone a page or two with the personal note 'I read this and thought of you' can have in inspiring someone in your team to run with some of the ideas I've collected together for this book. Some of the sections are real think pieces- they could be used to stimulate debate in your meetings. I aim to get people to understand what some schools are doing today with technology not what might be possible in the future- I'll be honest and say despite having some expertise in the field I've no idea what my own school will be doing with technology in 5 years time, all I know is it will be amazing. I passionately believe new technology has the power to revolutionise learning and even the best schools are struggling to scratch the surface of what is possible today. It's a sad fact that many family homes make better use of technology than our classrooms do, I hope this book helps school leaders redress that situation. This book also contains some practical tools for people to use. There's even an INSET activity so book a slot for your team to really address where you are as a school with technology and where you are going to, and tell me how you get on please. I hope I can convince the reader that everything in this book is possible in your school- it's rooted in real school practice and as a teacher I practice what I preach. That's not to say there aren't many challenges to leading the new technologies aspect of a school today, but I hope this book helps you tackle those challenges head on.

About the author:
Paul Haigh is Senior Assistant Headteacher for Innovation at Notre Dame High School, Sheffield which is an outstanding Catholic comprehensive school with award winning use of new technologies. After studying for a degree in Geography Sciences at The University of Birmingham in the mid 1990s Paul joined 'the family trade' and took a Science PGCE at Sheffield University. Paul started a teaching career in Chemistry and Geography but he quickly latched on to new technologies as the key issue of school development of this age and carved out a career path in this area. Paul considers himself to be part of the first generation of school leaders who have grown up with computers in the home and ICT lessons in their own education, his degree made heavy use of technology and he brought this momentum into his career. Having followed fast track career he now holds NPQH and works beyond his school as an educational consultant, speaker, writer and blogger. Paul has worked closely with many educational agencies and companies and knows the new technology side to education, both research and practice, inside out but crucially he is still rooted in classroom practice teaching 3 full days at a busy city comprehensive per week and using many of the ideas in the book on a daily basis to deliver education impact on learners.

Firstly I'd like to thank my employer; Notre Dame High School for giving such an interesting job that I've been free to develop many of the ideas you will read about in this book, it is wonderful to feel supported and encouraged in the field of innovation- where the path is not always smooth. I want to thank them for encouraging me to write about our work and being generous about me building the book around much of what happens in that wonderful school. I'd also like to thank colleagues at Notre Dame and beyond who have contributed and been featured in the book, your work has been my inspiration to write the book. Most importantly I want to thank my family- my father for setting me the example with his own writing as a teacher in his school holidays in the 1970s, I remember the thrill of seeing his name on a book spine and that must have stayed with me. Thank you to my wife and children for putting up with me typing away most nights- I remember what it was like myself! Finally thanks to Optimus Education, Jenny Lee and Giles Flitney have been a pleasure to work with and have given me great advice all the way through and I have to thank Jenny in particular for spotting my fledgling writing career via Twitter and my blog and asking me to write professionally for Optimus Education and helping me draft the proposal for this book- if that in itself doesn't show you the power of the internet I hope you are convinced by the end of the book.