SO HEADTEACHERS are to be issued with laptops. Is this a start to equipping teachers for the new millennium?
If it is, it is too little too late and directed at the wrong people. Heads do not need this support; the classroom teacher does. Toys for the boys and girls in senior management will not solve the crisis of information and communications technology in the classroom. If the intention is to equip all teachers with a laptop in time, then I may have some sympathy, but how will this serve to advance the cause of integrating ICT in the classroom?
Heads have the least contact with children; to give them equipment that ordinary classroom teachers are crying out for is misguided. I hope that heads will donate their laptops to those staff who would benefit from having access to ICT at home.
Heads and their senior management teams in secondary schools already benefit from administrative support and light teaching loads; another toy won't help them run the school more efficiently. Time to support the classroom teacher, I think.
James Williams, Lecturer in science education, Brunel University, Twickenham, Middlesex