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Beaumont College: Distributed leadership and our e-maturity Journey Maria Chambers 12/6/13.

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Presentation on theme: "Beaumont College: Distributed leadership and our e-maturity Journey Maria Chambers 12/6/13."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beaumont College: Distributed leadership and our e-maturity Journey Maria Chambers 12/6/13

2 Beaumont College – A Scope College Distributed leadership and our technology / e-maturity journey over the last decade

3 Introduction to Beaumont College Scope run Independent Specialist College (ISC) based in Lancaster 96 learners in Lancaster, two satellite provisions with ~20 learners 330 FTE staff Ofsted Outstanding LSIS Beacon Status Curriculum focussed on personal development, independence, skills for life Creative arts specialism

4 Distributed Leadership at Beaumont College Flat org chart / structure Leadership Team (LT) reports to principal Each LT team member is responsible for at least one area of operational delivery Middle managers report to Leadership Team Structure of the leadership team allows for: High level / strategic decision making input from each team member where required As we have a head of technology post on the LT technology is considered very early on in the development of new initiatives

5 Distributed Leadership at Beaumont College

6 Developing Technology at Beaumont Early on the management team at Beaumont college made some decisions / actions around IT: Firstly IT had to be resourced properly to be a success, This also means that we needed to properly staff the service, Starting from almost nothing was in some ways a good thing as it allowed us to design the system almost from scratch, A clear vision was established and a plan of action was implemented in the form of a robust ILT Strategy, in IT if you do not plan carefully you will not get a good end result, Priority areas were identified and these were focussed on by concentrating both management effort and money on them.

7 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority area 1: Basic Infrastructure You cant do any of the whizzy stuff if the primary systems are not up to it The first priority was the core infrastructure: Cabling Servers Computers Internet Connection The number of computers available for the use of learners has increased from 8 total in 2000 total to a ratio of 1:1 today The number of computers available for staff has increased so that all managers and teachers now have a laptop, plus desktop computers in all curriculum rooms

8 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 2: Staffing Installing lots of hardware and having nobody to keep it running or show people how to troubleshoot and use it is utterly pointless, The first appointment was a technologist who was in effect the colleges IT Manager, responsible to the colleges admin manager and principal, This role was aimed to sit at the interface between people and technology, The second appointment was a technician with special responsibility for the network and core infrastructure, The next few appointments were IT Technicians to provide a first line helpdesk style support service.

9 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 2: Staffing We now have the following structure, consisting of 12 people: Head of Technology (this is Rohan), an SMT post (unique in an ISC?) Two network technicians who run the Servers and other core infrastructure One technical LSW – this is a hybrid role crossing over between web development, video support and general support Three Technologists who work on special access IT for students, in particular the wheeltop project (more later, and we are planning to recruit more Technologists) One IT Apprentice – who primarily works on the helpdesk – this function is assisted by all other IT staff One Media Technician – who works on theatre, music, video tech An e-learning technologist to manage the VLE Two MIS support staff

10 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 2: Staffing

11 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 3: Assistive Technology IT is more than a teaching and learning technology for our learners It is a genuinely liberating assistive technology This includes but is not limited to: Communication technology or Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) Alternate input devices such as specialist keyboards, mice and similar Specialist educational software such as The Grid 2, Read and Write Gold, Clicker 6, Boardmaker, etc. Other assistive technology such as environmental control systems

12 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 3: Assistive Technology The Wheeltop Project ( ): Was a joint project between Scope and BTs Better World Campaign The main thrust of the project was not just about the technology, but the teaming model The way we work together between Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists etc is key We are using adapted tablet PCs in place of a traditional dedicated devices and have been since We aim to integrate solutions that are as low cost as possible, whilst at the same time improving on existing systems in partnership with specialist firms

13 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 3: Assistive Technology

14 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 3: Assistive Technology Connect to Control ( ): Is the current joint project between Scope and BT Focussed on ECS (Environmental Control Systems) The main areas of the project are: Working with age and disability badged systems Working with smart home or home automation technology Making the latter accessible and the former cheaper Again, we aim to integrate solutions that are as low cost as possible, whilst at the same time improving on existing systems in partnership with specialist firms

15 Developing Technology at Beaumont

16 Priority Area 4: Sustainability We had to concentrate initially on getting as much equipment and training in as possible Training is important, and with the teaching staff this is now easier than ever – we have a positive pressure from the teachers not resistance We had to ensure that we did not go backwards due to uneven investment Once you place more technology into an environment – removing it is extremely difficult Continuing the funding of this effort has been difficult as we have moved beyond the basics This takes us into our next section -

17 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 5: Foresight and development Firstly IT is far from standing still The key is to pick areas that really make a difference from the noise of new developments For example most Web 2.0 technologies are not new, they are just more accessible than before We are constantly looking at new ways of working, and staff training for the technology team is a large part of this All Technology staff are currently involved in some kind of development activity, with four staff members at various stages of higher degrees We are currently working on what we would describe as next generation teaching and learning systems

18 Developing Technology at Beaumont Priority Area 5: Foresight and development Next Generation Systems in Place at BC: Walled garden blogging Genuine e-portfolios, populated by learners A responsive MIS (Management Information System) A VLE for staff to access training materials An Apple based video storage and retrieval network An (almost) fully virtualised server infrastructure Extensive use of ECS to create a smart building A full redevelopment of the college estate with as much IT designed in from day one as possible

19 Definition of the Assistive Technologist The title assistive technologist (AT) has a number of different interpretations: One is Clinical, and refers to clinical rehab engineers This is common in the NHS, and in one College (Treloar) The DART project uses a somewhat different definition: Have a look at the sample job description, person spec and role profile (from Beaumont). This job is more education focussed, and as such the post holders: Ideally should have a teaching qualification, minimum 7307/7407/PTTLS or equivalent, and preferably a PGCE/cert ed Be educated to degree level in an IT related subject or have equivalent skills and knowledge gained from a suitable setting We want people people who are technically literate

20 Definition of the Assistive Technologist The Assistive Technologist Sits at the interface of people and technology Works as part of a trans-disciplinary team, which includes OT, SLT, teachers, social care staff A new hybrid role that does not replace any existing role The technologist becomes the chief integrator of the assistive technology solution provided to the student Impact on the classroom is significant (improved OTL grades, improved AT use and training for staff)

21 Funding the Technology Team at Beaumont College This has not been an easy process, top slicing student fee income may be possible, but BC has made our own opportunities. Sources of funding we have used: LSIS DART1 (Flexibility and Innovation Fund) Regional Collaboration funds (x2) Design and Delivery of ISC focussed e-leadership courses TechDIS InBook and other smaller projects JISC DART2 (FE and Skills Program) JISC Infonet pilot work Commercial partners BT (The Wheeltop Project and Connect to Control)

22 Funding the Technology Team at Beaumont College Paid Consultancy Large GFE Universities Other ISCs Trusts Sir John Fisher Foundation (small grants) The Karten Trust Other: Technology Strategy Board (TSB) – small projects NIACE – Molenet Becta – Technology Exemplar Network (both rounds) Over 5 years, this adds up to just under £1,000,000 This year 60% of the cost of running the BC tech team was directly offset by income other than the student fee

23 Current R&D / Other Projects at Beaumont College R&D BBC / YouView Accessibility Lancaster University: LeapMotion, Kinect and other gesture interfaces Low cost ECS systems (Connect To Control, BT and Lancaster Uni) Use of Windows 8 tablets with a variety of input mechanisms, including Tobii eye-gaze Projects DART2 (JISC) with National Star, Henshaws, Natspec See workshop 2, where Rohan will present more on DART2, see dart.beaumontcollege.ac.uk

24 College structure and relationships between teams The technology strategy in a College stands or falls based on: Relationships between teams The College Structure Relationship of the IT/Technology team with o Teachers o Therapists (where present) o Supporting staff o People in the AT role

25 THANK YOU us: Follow

26 Any questions?


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