High quality was the overriding impression after reading the entries for this year's ICT in Practice awards, organised by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) and supported by The TES, Pearson and BT. If people are concerned that ICT is making little impression then a trawl through these entries would be a partial antidote. The quantity too was up on last year.
Various themes were apparent. Children being effectively trained to help their classmates and even their teacher was one strand. Another was the enthusiasm and passion that many entrants felt about the possibilities with ICT. The technology that dominated was the interactive whiteboard. There are still many who remain to be convinced that the boards are as useful as the manufacturers make out, so it will be interesting to see how they are used by entrants. For Becta, and for all those who take part, these awards are about research and development. No one knows the right answers about ICT; we are still discovering them. Does the technology work better in some subjects than others? What kind of environment needs to be created in a school for learning with ICT to flourish? What is the most appropriate kind of advice and support for teachers in this area?
Do all the entrants come from show schools? No, and the assessors will visit every type from nursery schools to colleges.
Visiting the people on the shortlist will take the assessors right across the UK and will last until half-term. After that two people from each category will be invited to present to the awarding committee. Finally, the awards will be announced and presented at the BETT show in January.
Not everyone who entered is going through to the next phase, when everyone shortlisted will be visited by the assessors in their schools or colleges. Every entry contained something of worth and many of the experiences of the entrants will be featured on the pages of The TES.
Pearson is the main sponsor of the ICT in Practice Awards 2003, BT Education is the sponsor of the Innovation and Change category, and The TES is the media sponsor. Award winners receive pound;2,500, with an additional pound;2,500 going to their school or organisation. Runners-up receive pound;500, with an additional pound;500 going to their school or organisation.
The main themes throughout the awards are commitment to the use of ICT for teaching and learning, an understanding of how ICT is contributing to raising standards, the ability to inspire and motivate students and staff, and visionary and sustainable strategies.
Advice and Support
Innovation and Change
* September-October 2002 Shortlisted candidates visited
* November 11-13, 2002
* January 9, 2003 Announcement of winners and presentation at the BETT 2003 educational technology show at Olympia, London
* January 9, 2003
Relaunch of the ICT in Practice awards
The shortlist of entrants is due to be published on the Becta website: www.becta.org.ukpracticeawards
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