We interview Mr Rob Coston about his exciting new role in Solefield School as Director of ICT, Systems and Communications.
1. Describe what your new role will entail?
As Head of Computing I was responsible for the teaching of Computing across the school and making sure that we had all of the resources that we needed. The Director of Technology is quite similar but means that I am now responsible for the technology across the school and for all subjects not just Computing. The other side of my new role is 'communication'; technology and communication go hand in hand.
2. How do you see this new position will benefit Solefield and the boys?
Technology is fantastic and can be used in so many interesting ways! It does however have one massive downside and that is the cost; technology is expensive. With one person overseeing all of the technology it means that we can really get the most out of all the resources that we already have but more importantly can buy new exciting tools that can be used across multiple subjects to enhance teaching and learning. Communication in a school is important. The boys communicate with each other, teachers communicate with the boys, teachers communicate with parents and the school communicates with the world. Obviously face-to-face communications are a huge part of this, but as we all know this is not always possible.
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and specific areas of interest regarding this new role?
Growing up there was not a lot of technology around. I am very lucky to have seen life before mobile phones, before internet in the house and before YouTube! It means that I was able to experience the release of all of these things and the excitement as improvements were made time and time again. At secondary school we had the choice to study Computing or ICT, but not both. Computing was all about creating programs and ICT was all about using programs. I chose ICT as I have always loved investigating software and how it can be used to achieve what I need it to do (you should see some of the formulas used in the Housepoint spreadsheet). I have been either the Head of ICT or Head of Computing in all of the schools that I have worked in and infact, in my first school, was Head of ICT before I was even a qualified teacher. I love teaching the subject.
4. What were your initial feelings when you were given the new role?
Excitement! Technology is all about the future. It is a subject where we as a school can equip the boys with all of the skills that the national curriculum tells us to, but more that that, we can focus on real world skills that the boys will need for the future.
5. Can you let us in on some of your plans in the role for the future?
My overall plan is very simple - boys leave our school technologically equipped to take on secondary school and the world beyond school. The specifics of that plan are far more complicated. Technology is always changing and keeping up to date with the world means new exciting equipment being used in lots of different ways. You will have to keep your eyes peeled!