Red Kite Computers was set up by Paul Magnall in 2010 with the aim of helping schools to make better use of their ICT to the benefit of pupils, staff, parents and governors.

Experience in Education

I taught as a science teacher in a secondary school for 12 years. During that time ICT was being introduced into schools, first with BBC Model Bs, then Acorn and later Windows based PCs. I took a keen interest in the use of computers with the result that I was eventually responsible for the school computer network and all AV equipment along with TVEI (Technical and Vocational Educational Initiative) responsibilities. After implementing one of the first Acorn / PC integrated networks in the area I was asked to join a small Yorkshire based company providing ICT services to schools.

I have now had over 15 years experience of providing support, equipment, training and consultancy to schools across the north of England.

Environmental issues
As a youngster I was member of the YOC (Young Ornithologists Club – youth section of the RSPB) and a member of the school ornithologist club. My parents and the teachers involved with the club introduced me to the amazing world of nature around us. In the village where I then lived I would often see large flocks of lapwings and starlings.

In the late 1970’s I joined the growing environmental movement and in the 1980’s became concerned about our over-exploitation of the Earth’s resources, environmental crises such as Acid Rain and the reduction in numbers of once common birds. In the mid-1980’s my new wife and I camped in mid-Wales to see the only breeding pair of Red Kites in Britain.

As a teacher I encorporated concern for the environment into my classroom teaching and ran a successful environment group for students. Our projects included a school wildlife pond, a wildlife and herb garden, and a project to raise awareness of the importance of aluminium recycling by making a chain of aluminium ring pulls.

I continue to take an active involvement in environmental issues and in my previous employment introduced bird cams and energy auditing as products for schools. I am always looking for ways to introduce our young people to the excitment of the natural world that I experienced as a youngster, and still experience today.

Half-farmer, half-X
After 15 years of working as part of two small Yorkshire based companies providing ICT services to schools I find myself self-employed. This is giving me the chance of exploring a new way of living – at least for me – that I first came across in the Resurgence magazine. In Japan there is a movement described as “half-farmer, half-x” where young people are attempting to live part of their lives in a sustainable-ish fashion by growing some of their own food part time and working part time at something they are passionate about. Since I am passionate about education, ICT and the environment I am looking at ways in which I can work with local schools to help them develop in those areas. This is why I am likely to turn up at your school on a bicycle or on foot rather than in a car!

The half-farmer bit is making slow and steady progress. We were fortunate enough to acquire some waste land (part of an old cinder tennis court) at the back of our house and we have spent the last ten or so years building raised beds and planting trees and fruit bushes to try and provide (partially) for ourselves. We know that we will never be self-sufficient on this land but it does make a significant difference to our quality of life.

Professional bodies
Red Kite Computers is a member of Naace – Naace is the professional association for those who are concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of information and communications technology.