Everyone should be involved

12th May 2000 at 01:00
When it's obvious that information and communications technology (ICT) can help and develop your professional life, then it's hard to find an excuse to avoid it. For most journalists, ICT is a tool of the trade, and it's hard to respect anyone who doesn't respect their own professional skills. Can you still be a good teacher without ICT? Yes, but as Scottish headteacher Roddy McDowell says in our feature on training (page 10), his teachers are a team and he made sure they are all being trained, even classroom assistants.

For teachers the ICT game is almost up, with the nice cop and the nasty cop already walking up to the door. The nice cop is talking about helping teachers to get their own PCs with government cash. The nasty cop is warning about meeting the needs of the crriculum and something called threshold payments (the nice cop also mentioned that). Threshold payments, among other things, require teachers to show they are using ICT and are raising standards.

There's only one way to deal with standards - assessment. This is where ICT is a powerful tool, making sense of data and presenting it in a clear and meaningful way. As Lynne Taylor explains (Magic Markbook, page 30), if teachers can prepare this information for parents they can do it for their headteachers too and qualify for the threshold payment. Teachers will decide what to do about threshold payments, but if they can resolve the issue, Lynne's column and its materials on our website www.tes.co.ukonlineassessit could prove a useful stepping stone to that pound;2,000.

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