The Butterfly Effect

June 22, 2008 § Leave a comment

About 10 months ago I stumbled upon the National College for School Leadership (NCLS) online. Prior to this chance discovery, I knew nothing about this organisation. Now, I enjoy reading their quarterly LDR magazine, I often dip into their resource bank and I successfully completed my first online course.  Only when I was invited to present at an ALT conference at the NCSL Learning and Conference Centre in Nottingham, did I fully appreciate the size and scope of the organisation. I strongly recommend you take advantage of this great (FREE) resource.

This brings me to yet another fantastically thought provoking LDR post, ‘The Butterful Collector.’ Simply put The Butterfly Effect is ‘the effect of a very small change in the initial conditions of a system which makes a significant difference to the outcome.’ I will not spoil the article for you, but what small changes have you or your team made, that have in turn, made a significant difference to the outcome?

In first place, I believe that introducing the ICT Level 1 course will mean we have more students studying at an appropriate level, hence reduced class disturbance, an opportunity for ALL students to achieve and improved attainment of the most able students.

Second, recruiting sufficient ICT staff to teach the courses, although I believe we should be aiming for 4 staff next year.

Finally, although this is not a small change, the College investment in appropriate ICT technology and a ICT budget strategy will ultimately have a long term positive impact. Already the degree of vandalism has reduced, as the students have been able to work with less disruption. Now we must protect this high quality learning environment. We must keep the ICT Department in shape, minimise wasted finance and show we present a good investment.

‘Education changes very slowly, technology changes very quickly but children only get to be children once.’ (Doug Brown, Learning Technologies Unit)

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