George Cole has learnt a thing or two during his time writing about ICT and education, and now he has decided to share that knowledge with the rest of us in a surprisingly compact book. It is a lot of knowledge to cram into such a small space as this is not an academic treatise on the impact of new technology in schools, rather a book of easily digestible lists. The sort of tome that can be picked up, and picked at, whenever you've got a few moments spare.
Within the covers you will find, as you might expect, pages about "Computer Jargon" (bit and blog), and "How to assess software" (just because it's free doesn't mean it's bad), but it's not a book exclusively for ICT specialists. Sure, "Twelve ways to use sensors", sits alongside, "Ten good reasons to use a tablet PC", and "Back up media", but then every major subject gets a look in too with a "Making ICT work for..." page and a list of websites. SEN, e-learning, interactive whiteboards and video-conferencing all get a comprehensive going over. It's not just school staff who will find useful information here; "Websites for parents" follows "Online fun for pupils".
The whole thing is organised into sections, each with a different focus, such as creativity, communication and "Keeping on top of ICT". This is a book that's useful for both the computer cognoscenti, and anyone else using them in education, which is really all of us nowadays.
And helpful in so many ways, for finding resources, for getting ideas or for preparing arguments. Want to persuade the senior management of the benefits of wireless connectivity? Then look up "Going Wireless" and arm yourself with talk of "freedom and flexibility", "extending the reach" of the network and point out that it is often "built in as standard". On the other hand, be wary that they might have turned the page and can respond with the downsides, with mentions of speed, security and blackspots.
Running the whole gamut of ICT in education in a little over one hundred pages it reassuringly finishes with "Why computers won't replace teachers".
A very handy sort of book wherein just about anyone will find something useful, because, as it says in list 28, "Home Truths", "You'll never know everything there is to know about computers". Although George must come pretty close.
101 Essential Lists for Using ICT in the Classroom. By George Cole. Published by Continuum. www.continuumbooks.com ISBN: 0826488692. Price: pound;8.99