Expanding Diversity sharing Leadership
Next Generation Learning – ‘Expanding Diversity Sharing Leadership’
The use of technology as part of Next Generation Learning is a highly successful initiative at Camberwell Girls Grammar School. The goal of Next Generation Learning is to make it possible to expand the breath of student experiences and to personalise learning according the individual needs and pace of the student and emphasising student centred classrooms. Next Generation Learning is alive at Camberwell, we place great emphasis on teaching Next Generation Learning skills and dispositions needed to enhance students’ futures including curiosity, creativity, computational and critical thinking and collaboration. We embed these skills within our classroom programs and emphasise them with next-generation technologies such as Cisco video conferencing systems, iPads, laptops and robotics.
Learning at Camberwell Girls provides a student centred approach that is collaborative, infused with technology and is flexible and dynamic. Although Next Generation Learning is based on a wider philosophy of teaching and learning, technology plays a vital role in supporting and extending these key principles. This is achieved by students collaboratively working with others, including peers, teachers and experts and by expanding the ways in which they share information to an extended audience.
To facilitate these aims Camberwell Girls has integrated a range of technologies into the curriculum including; telepresence (video conferencing), video content creation, authoring and sharing and collaboration.
When educators look at the impact of innovations on learning Bloom’s SAMR model is often used. With respect to technology it can be seen as having the following impact on learning:
> Substitution: the use of technology acts as a direct replacement for a previously non-technology inclusive task without no functional change
> Augmentation: while technology acts as a tool for substituting what was done previously, it does create improvements in the teaching and learning
> Modification: the use of technology allows for a significant redesign of the learning experience
>Redefinition: the use of technology allows for the creation of tasks that were previously not possible
The use of video conferencing allows substantial modification of learning activities. We provide opportunities to immerse our students in relevant and creative virtual experiences that give learning a true purpose.
Students accessing experts such as:
> GeoScience Australia in Year 8 Geography investigating tsunamis
> Year 11 Science students learning from scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics
> Year 2 students rising Reef HQ to interact with a diver in the aquarium
> Year 3 students visiting the Alaska Zoo Polar Bear exhibit to learn about global warming and habitat destruction
> Year 3 learning about footing food and puffy faces with the NASA team at Space Centre in Houston
> Year 4 connecting with the Sydney Opera House
> Foundation students spoke to the keepers at Werribee Zoo
> Years 5&6 Learning from counsellors at the “Kids Help Line” on building resilience.
In addition to having “experts” visually visit the classroom, our Junior School students have been preparing for their participation in the TtEDSC Virtual debating program, an Australia wide initiative that links students together from around the country to debate topics of current importance.
With an emphasis on providing the tools to allow students to create and collaboration, we have seen students continuing to create video based content across a range of subject areas in the Senior School including, Mathematics, Science, English, Geography. While we recognise that the traditional methods of creating and sharing information are important, research has highlighted that access to video based content is an increasingly important means of sharing and accessing information.
Creating purposeful audio and video is a key aspects of Next Generation Learning as the world is becoming increasingly multi-modal. To ensure students are competent producing clear video and audio, this term we will see many of our Junior School classes visiting the purpose built TV-Studio to create their own when I grow up videos, audio books, travel advertisements or Olympic bids. In the senior school students in Mathematics, Geography, Science and English have utilized the TV studio and a range of apps to author and share research via video.
The ability to think and act computationally (like a computer) is becoming more important because as the world becomes more automated, it is vital we understand the the way machines work in order to harness them to best meet our needs. To develop computational thinking skills all students at Ormiston have been learning through the use of Robots. Our Dash robots have been a hit in Early Learning, with students learning how to control them to perform a range of tasks and actions. Foundation to Year 2 students have learnt to use symbolic coding to navigate maps using BeeBots to plan and follow paths. Our Year 3-6 students are learning to use visual block coding to program Dash and Sphero robots within Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead short courses.
Our Year 4 class and our Senior School Code Club have benefitted from a purposeful collaboration with technology experts from Xero, through which they developed the skills and confidence to use computational thinking skills to design and produce, amongst other projects, their own computer games. This term Year 4 students will harness the skills and knowledge gained from the collaboration by mentoring Year 5 students to develop their computational thinking skills by teaching them the craft of game making.
Our iPad and laptop programs are a vital part of supporting next-generation learning and all students have daily access to learning technologies. The iPads allow for differentiation and support of learning needs while also inspiring students to develop new and creative ways to present their learning. Daily access to computers and tablets puts valuable information at students’ fingertips instantly and supports and promotes authentic inquiry and digital literacy skills.
Students use their iPads and laptops in class to learn through the publishing and maintenance of blogs and digital portfolios, creating their own video screencasts explaining concepts to others, producing book trailers and advertisements, critically evaluate sources, and expose students to a variety of digital literature. Senior School students use SEQTA, the student, teacher and parent portal and learning management system to produce and submit assignment work digitally in a number of different formats including written work and video. Video based content can then be uploaded into Show and Share and used as resource for other students. Students in Year 7 & 8 have been scripting, filming, editing and sharing short stories about the uses, advantages, dangers and ways to stay safe using social media. As their target audience is a younger age group, they have been required to consider the age and experiences of their audience and plan accordingly. Show and Share then allows these students to share their work with their audience and gain valuable feedback.
As part of our alliance with Cisco Systems, as a Cisco Exemplar School, we have had the opportunity to share our vision, experience and leadership with a number of other schools and educational organisations around the country including State Education and Catholic Education Departments and schools across Australia.
Camberwell Girls staff are in high demand as mentors to other schools and organisations, reaffirming our commitment and leadership to the integration of innovative technologies into our curriculum.
Kim Perkins Emma Hinchliffe
Head of Digital Learning Digital Learning Leader