We know that when aligned appropriately to curriculum and pedagogy, educational technologies can have a significant impact on teaching and learning through:
- investigating reality and building knowledge
- promoting active learning and authentic assessment
- engaging students by motivation and challenge
- providing tools to increase student productivity
- providing scaffolding to support higher-level thinking
- increasing learner independence
- promoting collaborative and co-operative learning
- tailoring learning to the learner (differentiation)
- overcoming physical disabilities
Educational technologies also help us to address the demands of 21st Century Learning. Although many elements of this learning are not unique to the 21st Century, there are two key skills which are: (i) information literacy and (ii) cultural competence and awareness.
Our students have access to an unprecedented abundance of media, information and data, primarily but not exclusively via the internet: one challenge for them is learning how to identify and process information which is both relevant and credible, and this requires skills that are unique to this century.
The internet in general, and social networking in particular, have facilitated a new globalisation of experience and knowledge which, when combined with the emphasis on collaborative learning, necessitate an awareness of cultural diversity and the ability to negotiate that diversity successfully. Understanding the risks, responsibilities and etiquette of being a digital citizen are a new challenge that our students face and we have introduced courses in Digital Literacy and Citizenship for all our Year 9 and 10 students to help them use digital technologies responsibly and productively.
Knowing how to access, navigate and differentiate information is a uniquely C21st Century skill which, once mastered, can add immeasurably to a student’s learning. It is also an invaluable skill for university and the workplace.
Our E-learning Programme is founded on the premise of 1:1 personal ownership and use of a computer — the iPad makes that goal achievable, given its compact design, long battery life, accessibility, reliability, ease of use and functionality, and the ready availability of educational apps, digital books and services. It is an ideal tool with which to facilitate learning in an information-rich environment in all subjects.
In 2017, all students in Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 are expected to have an iPad for classroom and school use.
For detailed information regarding the iPad Programme and computer requirements, please click here.
Deploying the iPad on a 1:1 basis will meet four important practices that assist in making education relevant to our students and preparing them for the future:
- giving students the opportunity to use technology at school — this heightens engagement and puts learning in the hands of the students;
- connecting students to the world — direct and immediate contact with other societies of cultures, or accessibility to rich data;
- understanding where students are going and helping them to get there — critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and collaboration;
- helping teachers to enhance the teaching and learning in their classrooms — applying educational technologies in meaningful and innovative ways in practice.
We use iTunes U to distribute academic courses. Our students subscribe to their courses using the iPad iTunes U app and receive notifications, course-related posts and resources as the year progresses. Many of these resources are interactive digital books that we have developed in-house. iTunes U also enables the submission of student work for assessment, and public and private discussion forums between students and their teachers.