Many thanks to all those of you who took part in the ICT survey before Christmas. This will be a bit help when planning how best to incorporate ICT into the curriculum further for all subjects. The number of responses received was not as high as we’d hoped for but enough for us to draw some reasonable conclusions from the data.
Access to a Computer at Home
It appears that the vast majority of students have access to a computer at home. Just over half have access to a shared family computer with 40% of pupils having their own computer.
3% of pupils do not have access to a computer at home.
Whilst we will continue to provide access to ICT facilities at lunchtime through ICT club this means we can be more confident that giving students homework/coursework that requires a computer will be unlikely to cause a problem.
Access to the Internet At Home
Of course having access to a computer is not the only requirement for a great deal of work. We also asked about internet access and the results were similar.
96% of our student body have access to the internet in some form at home. Limited Access indicates students who’s parents monitor and restrict either the content being browsed or the time spent on the internet.
Again from a teaching point of view we now know that we can assume that almost all students have internet access for coursework / homework requirements.
Students can continue to access the internet during ICT club at lunchtimes for work purposes although sites such as Facebook and Bebo are permanently blocked.
Taking Computer Based Work to School
It is important that when students complete homework or coursework at home they are able to bring it into school as easily as possible. Nearly 70% of pupils use USB memory sticks. Whilst this is absolutely fine they are not without problems. Recent virus issues at school resulted in a temporary ban (although this has now been resolved) and memory sticks are frequently lost.
The website has a link to a facility called Reach which enables students and staff to access their school user areas at home. Disappointingly fewer than 5% of students use this. Whilst there have been very restrictive technical problems recently it also appears that almost half those surveyed did not know about Reach. As well as working on the technical reliability we will also start providing better education to students about how to use Reach.
A large factor in pupils bringing work to school successfully is software compatibility. Y Pant is primary PC based although Music and Media Studies are making increasing use of Apple Macs. Fewer than 5% of respondants said they have a Mac at home.
Throughout the ICT suites in Y Pant we have Windows XP installed with Microsoft Office 2003. We also use Publisher and Access 2003 – which are not usually part of the home version of Office. We also use Macromedia software for DiDA – using the MX 2004 versions.
15% of respondants expressed an interest in ICT sessions for parents / guardians in school. We have already started running some sessions for senior citizens as part of the school’s E3+ programme. Many parents took the opportunity to provide the school with their email address. Some of these were then contacted by email during school closure days. Contacting parents by email and/or text is certainly something we will be looking into more in the future.