I've been ICT coordinator at my Primary School in Victoria for 3 years now. When I started P-4 classrooms had computers that hardly ever worked, the labs computers dropped out frequently, and due to the frustration all this caused ICT was far from a priority at our school.
My initial reaction, on taking over, was to buy newer computers. Thanks to the advice of our new tech, I put this off and invested in infrastructure. To cut a long story short, we now have a brand new 4TB server, Layer 3 network switches (allowing significantly improved performance), a fibre optic backbone, network points for all computers and printers (previously about 1 point per 3 machines!) and a 3.5:1 computer to student ratio with no computer more than 2 years old.
We are now at the point where we're ready to start immersing staff and students in ICT. I've already had to raise the download cap sevenfold. As a result of my hard work and support from school leaders, I’ve been given an ICT specialist role next year to try and support staff and students in the transition to an ICT driven curriculum.
My first port of call is going to be Sharepoint. I looked at this a couple of years ago but didn’t like the interface. I’d made a basic intranet with important links a few years before and the staff liked its simplicity. However, we now need a more sophisticated interface.
The newer version of Sharepoint is supposed to be fantastic so I’m pretty excited. I have a vision of staff and students making announcements, uploading work, videos, podcasts, wikis, blogs, term and weekly calendar as well great links. I’d also like to see the roll and most communication with admin and other classrooms being done online. I’ve got a few staff using their webcams on Office Communicator.
If anyone can help with ideas or examples of good use of Sharepoint, Office Communcator, online rolls then please let me know. Also if you are one of the many Primary Schools with a terribly dysfunctional network and need any support in planning its upgrade I’ll try to help. My school has 300 students.
Sorry this is a long post, but short of starting a blog and linking to it I couldn’t see a better way to start this discussion.