Incorporating technology into the classroom allows for individual expression.
At a time of such rapid change and transformation in education, the School is extremely fortunate to have Emma Hinchliffe as part of our Teaching, Learning and Innovation Team. Emma who has been an educator at Camberwell Girls since 2010 is currently our Junior School Digital Learning Leader and also Year 3 teacher. To say that Emma thrives on technology is an understatement.
In many ways, technology is part of Emma’s DNA and she is currently on a mission to ensure that teachers are implementing the correct strategies and using a variety of technology in effective and efficient ways in their classrooms. “I want to see all of our students using technology to support them to chase their dreams and to bring their ideas to life. I’m really just encouraging our Ormiston girls to be completely empowered by the possibilities that using technology presents them with,” says Emma. Earlier this year Emma was awarded the W. E. McPherson Fellowship from the Invergowrie Foundation because of her innate ability to inspire young women. Emma is currently using her fellowship to complete her Master of Education, specialising in Digital Innovation and Knowledge Networks.
Emma admits that she’s always loved learning and using technology but says she’s never been particularly artistic. “I’m completely inspired when using technology, I guess it allows me to be more creative. I still clearly remember the first time I touched a Mac… I was in Grade One – it just set off a spark.”
As a teacher, Emma says she loves that you can capture authentic examples of student learning and share learning so quickly and easily. “Incorporating technology into the classroom really puts students in charge of their own learning and allows for individual expression,” Emma confirms. A firm believer in incorporating student voice into the curriculum and making learning as authentic as possible, there is no ‘typical’ day in Emma’s classroom. She purposely strives to ensure that each and everyday is completely different.
“My philosophy is that nothing is impossible. If I or any of my students have an idea – we just try it. You never know what’s possible until you have a go. Often, the best learning experiences come from embracing the unexpected,” she says. This approach to teaching and learning has seen Emma’s students participate in some extremely exciting lessons. What’s the trend in her classroom at the moment? “App Smashing,” says Emma. “My class are never happy using just one app to present their learning. They know that they can be more creative and achieve their goals more effectively by combining the features of a variety of apps.”
To complete just one task, Emma’s Year 3 girls might use iMovie to create a persuasive presentation while at the same time, they will use Pic Collage to design more engaging slides, include a Popplet to show their ideas are connected, take photos and videos of the topic using iCamera while editing them in iPhoto and create a musical track using Garage Band. Whilst no day is ever the same, there are certain elements that are always guaranteed in Emma’s classroom. “A day in my class always involves collaborating, creating, strength spotting, discussion, evaluating, lots of laughter, and of course… technology,” Emma says with a big smile. Emma – you’ve certainly found your calling!