Distributed leadership and

rawsulkyInternet and Web Development

Dec 11, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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Beaumont College:

Distributed leadership and
our e
-
maturity Journey


Maria Chambers

12/6/13

Beaumont College


A
Scope College

Distributed leadership and our technology / e
-
maturity
journey over the last decade

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




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



Distributed Leadership at

Beaumont College



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.

Developing Technology at

Beaumont


Priority area 1: Basic Infrastructure


You can’t 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

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 college’s IT Manager, responsible to the college’s 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.

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

Developing Technology at

Beaumont


Priority Area 2: Staffing

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

Developing Technology at

Beaumont

Priority
Area 3: Assistive Technology


The Wheeltop
Project (2007
-
2010):


Was a
joint project between Scope and BT’s ‘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 PC’s in place of a traditional
‘dedicated
devices’ and have been since 2001 . . . .


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

Developing Technology at

Beaumont

Priority Area 3: Assistive Technology

Developing Technology at

Beaumont

Priority
Area 3: Assistive Technology


Connect to Control (2011
-
14):


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

Developing Technology at

Beaumont

Developing Technology at

Beaumont

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 basic’s’


This takes us into our next section
-


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’

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

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




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)




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)

Funding the Technology Team

at Beaumont College

Paid Consultancy


Large
GFE


Universities


Other ISC’s

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


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


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


THANK YOU



Email us:


m
aria.chambers@scope.org.uk


r
ohan.slaughter@scope.org.uk





Follow us:


@
rohanslaughter

Any questions?