"Erm, tell me, Terry. How do you actually earn money?" This is a question that I am constantly asked because, I think, I don't do a lot of self-promotion as far as drumming up work is concerned. I've tended to rely on word of mouth referrals, but in order to pre-empt the question I quoted at the start of this paragraph, and because I think I ought to be a bit more overt in my approach, I thought I'd write some articles about what I do for a living.
One of the things I offer is a full review of the education technology "environment" (I can't think of a better word) in your school. Here's the description:
Do you have wonderful education technology in your school, but with neither staff nor pupils interested in using it?
Me thinking about stuff before putting pen to paper, as it were
In two schools I joined, the following situation applied:
· The subject had become tainted and degraded in the eyes of both staff and pupils
· It was seen as being of marginal importance
· The subject matter of the course was boring and unchallenging
· There was a lack of rigour in both planning and assessment
I'm pleased to say I was able to change all of that. In fact, in one of the schools, people started to notice the changes within two weeks, despite the fact that the previous situation had existed for years.
In a school I visited to review what they were doing, I uncovered the cause of a huge problem that everybody in the school had been aware of, but all assuming that it was going wrong because of them. In fact, the way things had been organised was causing the problem.
In another couple of places, people weren't talking to each other. That was partly because of where people were located, and partly for other reasons. I put in place procedures that increased autonomy and accountability at the same time. And changed the culture so that people talked to each other.
If you think any of these situations describe your circumstances, then consider inviting me in to carry out a full review and then suggest how you might turn things around.
I should point out that a full review means full, and that can't be done in half a day or even a day. I can carry out reviews in half a day or a day. I can even review data and documentation without visiting the school at all, although that's not my preferred way of doing things. But if you want an in-depth evaluation then that takes between two and four days.
Bear in mind also that I am independent. That is to say, I work for myself, and I don't earn commission on any products I might recommend. I rarely recommend specific products anyway, preferring to suggest product types where appropriate, with a few examples you might like to evaluate for yourself.
If you do commission me to carry out a full review, I can also write up the report for different audiences, such as:
· The full works, for the relevant staff to consider
· A summary of the key points, for the senior leadership team and Governors
· Parent-friendly web copy
I think I'm pretty good at what I do; fortunately, so do lots of other people! You can read some of their comments here: Testimonials.
To discuss your particular requirements in this area, please contact me to start a conversation.
cross-posted at www.ictineducation.org
Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education."