What I want to speak about briefly is the powerful learning beyond Engagement,
beyond the next shiny toy or Ipad and place your child’s learning in a context that reaches beyond primary and secondary school and speaks to a future that we imagine or would desire for every student.
I believe in learning for life.
Our job is to inspire learners of all ages to develop critical and creative thinking and problem solving skills to adapt to an increasingly global and competitive world.
Students need the ability to think critically and to find creative solutions to complicated problems because being able to do this is vitally important to live a full life and for future employment.
Research tells us that being able to think critically and creatively in an authentic context is a key to engagement and learning. And the aim of our school is to meet the learning needs of every student. We have high expectations of ourselves as well as our students.
The idea of developing more personalized learning experiences like you will see today so young people can pursue their individual talents and develop strengths is not new but it poses significant challenges to a broad education system.
Students need to engage in product and project orientated learning experiences grounded in a need to work problems and find solutions. This means teachers need to cultivate new processes, strategies and protocols for teaching and learning.
We are looking to shift the paradigm from an education system that simply looks to prepare employees.
One of the most common pieces of rhetoric you hear in the media when talking about education at secondary school is that we are trying to prepare students for jobs that will have disappeared by the time they graduate.
Jobs that are replaced by technologies or maybe sent to other countries.
Broadly speaking when you prepare people to take a job you first prescribe what they should know and to be able to do. So the curriculum becomes - you shall know this - so you can perform that task!
Ideally we need to move from a paradigm preparing employees for existing jobs to another paradigm to develop learning entrepreneurs who can create jobs for themselves and for others.
That is “education that creates and adds value”.
Moving thinking from an employee oriented to a more entrepreneurial model of thinking that values curiosity and powerful learning requires building students capabilities. Adopting a strengths based approach to curriculum development.
Education should allow students to express and develop their own strengths. In this way the curriculum becomes more personalised and allows students to have more voice in what they do and to a greater extent drive what they learn. In other words allowing students to have a lot more agency and ownership over their journey.
It was clear at the beginning of 2016 that without your help through the digital learning co-contribution of $119 per student we would not be able to resource our very ambitious plans to bring Ivanhoe Primary School into the 21st Century Digital Learning Space that we are in now.
The reality is the department of education cannot fund digital learning technologies to the extent that they should be funded.
The 2016/2017 Co contribution Funds have been USED for:
- Purchasing of extra laptops to increase the 1:2 laptop program to include grades 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- The establishment of the Collaboration Space, including the purchase of $10 000+ worth of Robotics and 25 iPads and a suite of applications
- A further 31 iPads for Specialised Programs including Italian, Art and Music.
- The purchase of New Projection Equipment, including the large digital screen in this space and the interactive screens in the art room and music room.
- The employment of our Digital Learning Consultant, Georgina Pazzi. Georgina has and hopefullywill continue to support our schools DLT vision and staff’s professional development in the Digital Learning Curriculum.
- Server/Wi-Fi upgrades to ensure the Digital Technologies Curriculum can be introduced effectively.
- Additional Tech Support contact hours.
- Subsidising the Implementation of the Compass management and communication system
This is where I put my salesman hat on for a minute...
This year we have had a lesser response to our DLT co- contribution and we are concerned that without the funds we will lose momentum.
Activities and opportunities that may suffer if we can’t raise the necessary funds are:
- Repairing, updating and upgrading of Digital Learning Technologies in our school.
- Continued Professional Development for staff to stay up to date.
- Additional software and applications across all grade levels.
- Continued development of age-appropriate Cyber Safety programs and initiatives.
- Continued resourcing of our Collaborative Spaces including the purchase of flexible furniture, additional robotics and the re-stocking of consumable materials.
If you haven’t already but you are considering paying the digital learning technologies co-contribution we have a kiosk set up outside the old canteen that will be there until the end of the mornings activities.
Today you will see students participate in designing their own learning.
If you listen and look closely you may see students redefining the content of what they are learning through meaningful problem solving and developing creative solutions to complicated tasks.
Traditionally schools have given the students the problem and solutions to work through or a formula to solve it.
Entrepreneurial thinking and learning requires students not just to solve a problem but to identify problems worth solving.
We want our students to create and add value to their education by identifying problems worth solving and then collaborating to explore creative solutions.
In this way students are more likely to discover their passions and strengths and talents.
We are not trying to impose innovation on anybody rather we are inviting students to be the innovators.