How do we manage resources effectively in these times of diminishing funding?
Summary of Session
I greatly enjoyed being part of #ukdchat tonight – there were so many creative ideas from people who are working within the constraints of diminishing budgets. There were some useful links and suggestions for resources, which can be found at the end of this post. There were some useful suggestions for saving and making money – freecycling, e-bay for unused printer cartridges, growing and selling vegetables. Printing was an obvious concern for costs – with photocopiers often proving a cheaper alternative when used as part of network for printing. Shopping around and ensuring best value – taking into consideration the TOTAL cost – was hugely important, though there were mixed experiences about outsourcing for e.g. printing – a reminder about the debacle about outsourcing maths tutoring to India at a very high cost, as recently reported, suggested we need to think carefully about this approach. There were two opposing schools of thought about ways of saving money – tech-free days or photocopied worksheet-free days, which seem to me to contradict each other!!! There’s some people who are experiencing paper allowances of a ream per term. Some schools have stopped buying teachers laptops; other teachers prefer to use their own higher-spec equipment (though some are advised that certain data/evidence is best kept on school equipment eg photos/film). There are pros and cons about using pupils’ own tech equipment though this seems an increasingly attractive prospect in these times of reduced budgets. CPD is expensive but just improving communications between colleagues about what does/doesn’t work can improve our own understanding (and, of course, twitter, #ukedchat, teachmeets continue to be valuable free cpd resources!) Using online tools and freeware may not have the same technical support as paid-for resources, though a personal learning network (PLN) through twitter may help answer our questions! But sometimes paying for a service/software can be very worthwhile for learning experiences and managing resources effectively. However, we need to make the most of the resources we have and use them to their full potential – even if that means re-visiting a tool as part of staff training. I picked two tweets for the tweet of the week because I think they are fundamental to the future of managing our resources effectively – we need to be able to use tools and resources that will save time for teachers, supporting a work-life balance (and that may be the tools that enable networking, idea sharing, crowd sourcing, creative commons resources and mutual support – those that prevent us re-inventing wheels that have already been invented!). We also need to be able to harness the tools that our students will be bringing to school – whether it is their mobile phone, smartphone or itouch, psp/ds, their own laptop/netbook. (And that will bring a lot of questions about network security, e-safety, wireless access, parity of opportunity and lots more, I’m sure!)
@missbrownsword my kids went to a school that grew veggies and sold them to local pub for sunday lunches, made money for school & kept pub open! #ukedchat
@duckinwales #ukedchat links for further reading http://agent4change.net/grapevine/platform/645 & http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukschools/)
@bevevans22 @duckinwales Final thoughts. Share money saving ideas, whatever they may be. Try to cut printing costs & shop around for resources #ukedchat
@colport@bevevans22 Ooh, the library…there is another resource we could all use that is free and usually local #ukedchat
@mberry @raff31 we (last school) had a tech free green day, even tried to do without electricity. #ukedchat
@colport Here is an idea for a free trip for pupils http://www.nsfw.org/ #ukedchat – Just need to pay for transport.
@MrMalcontent I do think that examples such as moviemaker are an untapped resource in too many schools. So easy to use with a bit of patience #ukedchat
@raff31 @DrAshCasey: @daviderogers @janwebb21 We used all kids devices and tech stuff on Technology Takeover day http://bit.ly/afGJWK #ukedchat
@colport I don’t think it is always about *free* resources, but getting value for money for product. Top example 2Simple suite of programs #ukedchat
@bevevans22 @daviderogers We are serial grant appliers too – helps with all sorts of things #ukedchat
@DuncanTigerHero @duckinwales we got students to make recycled pads from single sided extra print outs. We sold them at parents evening fairs etc #ukedchat
@mbht1 Networking all printers to photocopier has saved a small fortune in printing costs #ukedchat
@Jamesashton20 RT @janwebb21: RT @bevevans22: paint.net too although if school gonna get win 7 i love the new ms paint! tools similar to revelation natural
@bartoneducation #ukedchat speak to local printing firm about doing a print deal. Get parents to buy laptops. Only ones who can afford. Hijack PTA for ict.
@bartoneducation #ukedchat offer to trial stuff for publishers. Few hours for cheaper resources
@alee11 RT@simonhaughton #ukedchat Share your resources with others – gives you pleasure seeing others use & people often share things back
@bevevans22 There is a lot of freeware that comes in handy. Pivot Stick Figure, Ript, TuxPaint, Audacity, PhotoStory…all good stuff #ukedchat
@familysimpson Freecycle.org for old games consoles #ukedchat – tv s are popular give away at moment. I have 4 PS1 an a PS2 through this.
@GillDeCosemo @janwebb21 TES last week a school was outsourcing maths tuition to India £12/hr/ pupil. Not cheap!
@daviderogers RT @tonycassidy: I think the CPD suggestion on the link is a good one- save money by talking to each other #ukedchat
@tonycassidy @dailydenouement @Janeh271 @janwebb21 @daveterron there was a survey done which suggested the average was £300 a year #ukedchat (about teachers spending their own money on resources!)
@chrisrat PRT @andreacarr1 Quick 1 from me #ukedchat.Talk to suppliers.Most of us really want to help u stretch budgets.We’ll work with u <- so agree!
@MrMalcontent @janwebb21 holidays at different times of the year would cut down on the cost of foreign ones! #ukedchat
@chrisrat My laptop is crying under the strain of video, photos,emails, #ukedchat, flipcam..may put it out of its misery by dropping it in the clyde
@deerwood perhaps we should give the kids more holidays, that would surely cut down on the costs? #ukedchat
Tweets of the week:
@JamesTheo #ukedchat Most pupils have nifty resources in their pockets: most mobile phones now come with apps from voice recorders to video cameras.
@DuncanTigerHero The resource which is most scarce at the moment is time #ukedchat
Links posted tonight: