Friday, 6 May 2011

Why pay £89 for a book?

Some potential customers are worried about the price of the ICT Handbook for Schools  at £89 so I'd like to explain what you get for your money.


If you've ever read an article I've written or contributed to in TES, Guardian, ASCL Leader Magazine, PCPro Magazine, Sec Ed Paper there's certainly more detail to what I was saying there in the book. If you've ever heard me speak at a conference there's certainly a full explanation of the topics I speak on- perhaps even  version of the presentation on the CD. If you've ever heard about Notre Dame Sheffield or come for a visit to see what we do you'll get the full detail from policies upwards. Compared to the cost of my consultancy (£500 per day) or the expense of going to an INSET event (£250 plus travel?) it is great value for money.


Plus you get not just the text but a range of tools including INSET activities with sheets, PowerPoints and delivery notes, self assessment tools and policies, structures and systems you can put in place in your school. Running your own INSET is the way ahead with shrinking budgets- and better too as you tailor to your need. You also get, with the e-book, a site licence to put the book on your network and let all your school staff have access, they can print off sheets that are meant to be used alone and click on the links to the tools and sites mentioned in the text.


At a time of shrinking budgets people don't want to pay £89 for a 'book' but with shrinking INSET budgets this would take about 10 INSET days to deliver so £89 for a school improvement tool should be seen as a great deal.


Here’s what’s in the book, plus you get a CD of files.



About the author




Section 1

ICT strategy and new technologies

1.1 Developing the ICT vision for your school

1.2 Turning the vision into reality: people

1.3 The virtual school and virtual learning environments

1.4 Moving forward with open-source software – a case study

1.5 ICT in school improvement and development

1.6 ICT and environmental sustainability

1.7 Developing ICT during a funding crisis

1.8 Technical support structures in a successful school – a case study


section 2

Using new technologies in the school

2.1 Changing the way teachers work

2.2 Interview with a teacher using new technologies in the classroom

2.3 Email and staff protocol

2.4 Using email with students

2.5 Using web forums with a class

2.6 Using different media

2.7 Student-owned mobile devices

2.8 Teaching environmental issues with new technologies

2.9 Interactive whiteboards

2.10 E-assessment and student response systems


section 3

Parents and the wider community

3.1 Good school websites: the essential guide

3.2 Engaging parents through new technology

3.3 Dealing with the media – a personal experience

3.4 New technology and its role in the Extended Schools agenda


section 4

Social network websites: their benefits and risks (pull-out section)

section 5



Weblinks and further reading


Have a read of page one:


Chapter 1.1

Developing the ICT vision

for your school



As any aspirant or new school leader knows, securing a clear vision for a school is the

first and most essential way of clearing the mists and charting a course for progress. It is

impossible to implement aims, strategies and staffing structures to take a school forward if

the initial vision is not clear and shared with everyone. For many reasons, developing a vision

for new technologies is potentially much harder to achieve.

Many headteachers have a vision based on their own values about education, which predates

the ICT revolution and is set firmly in the pedagogy of a bygone age. At most, they may

have adjusted their vision to accommodate ICT as an enriching addition. A great teacher can

teach a class with a stick of chalk, but teachers who can truly captivate all students all day in

that way are rare and the times in which we teach have changed. To prepare students for life

in the 21st century, schools have to not only open the door to 21st-century technologies but

also grasp them with both hands, harness their potential and enjoy the turbo-charged ride

they offer.


The need for a vision

A good starting point when considering this challenge is the following quote by Bill Gates of



‘… high schools are obsolete. By obsolete, I don’t just mean… broken, flawed, and underfunded

– though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean

that our high schools – even when they’re working exactly as designed – cannot teach our

kids what they need to know today.’

(Address to the National Governors Association/Achieve Summit, 26 February 2005 )


This quote will make many readers immediately defend their own school and its wonderful

qualities, but Gates was trying to court controversy to spark a debate about education

reform being less about fixing the faults in the current system and more about looking at

the point of education in the context of a world that is undergoing, with the advent of

the microprocessor, its third major revolution. As a leader of this revolution Gates should

be listened to, not least because he has a track record of spotting where the future lies and

(some would say) personally shaping it.