Making the most of our space!

We have recently embarked in a project to try and turn one of our ICT suites into a media suite. At the beginning of 2015 we had a KS1 ICT Suite and KS2 ICT Suite. I felt this wasn't the best use of the space and decided to reduce it to one whole school ICT suite.

I am often asked about whether schools should keep an ICT suite and I would say yes. I feel children need the opportunity to learn and use as many different forms of technology. If you replace an ICT suite because you now have iPads you will be deskilling children from using traditional PCs or laptops. In my experience, children are exposed to mobile technology more nowadays but it is still crucial for children to learn basic skills such as creating a file and saving it to a folder on a PC or laptop. Sometimes the iPad is more like a cheat machine and while it can do wonderful and marvellous things and save you time we still need to teach children the basics of using computers.

We still have a computing lesson one hour a week and encourage staff to get the children into the ICT suite to teach the computing science aspect of the curriculum. The information technology and digital literacy is embedded through the curriculum in the way we blog and use iPads.

Our traditional ICT suite
I had visions of turning the KS1 ICT suite into a media suite, with space for projects including greenscreen, stop motion animation and radio podcasting! We have therefore painted half of the room in green opening the door for so much quality speaking and listening through greenscreen activities. In the couple of weeks since the walls have been painted we have already done this and this.

At present, the room looks like this -

Our other ICT suite now a media suite
On the left-hand side, are some PCs alongside working stations for children. We are hoping to add a radio station alongside some stop motion animation studios. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of some of the Zu3D animation kits and Lego story starter kits to get going with this. On the right-hand side, you can see the huge greenscreen area we have.

I am on a mission to make the most of this room! I know it can easily fit a half class of children and know that with a focused and engaged activity the children would work independently in this area. I will update you on the progress with this and share other ways in which we use the space!

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