It is our aim that digital technology is used to promote powerful learning, inquiry, creativity and effective communication. We wish to support our students to become digitally responsible citizens. We also want students to be using digital technology as a tool for learning, whenever that is a most effective option.

Our school supports a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to complementing our school resources and enhancing the use of digital technology on our school network. By allowing network access via these devices and clear guidance on responsibilities and requirements we are better equipped to meet the learning needs of today’s students.

Over the past two years BYOD at our school has referred to iPads that students use to facilitate word processing, capturing video and audio, inquiry learning, and processing and sharing information. Across the school (even in junior primary) we are now seeing many students with iPads and quite a few classes are at or close to one to one. Through this uptake, our teachers are finding more opportunities for students to move beyond simply substituting pen for iPad. Students modifying and redefining ideas and creations is where we are heading.

The digital technologies journey at Woodend has been significant already. We are now in a better position for students using devices to be collaborating more, creating more, improving more, sharing more.

In 2016, a new Digital Technologies area of the Australian Curriculum launches.  The expectations of this new curriculum are very different than what we’ve seen in the past.

The new curriculum states that:

The Digital Technologies learning area provides students with authentic learning challenges that foster curiosity, confidence, persistence, innovation, creativity, respect and cooperation. These are all necessary when using and developing  systems to make sense of complex ideas and relationships in all areas of learning. Digital Technologies helps students to be regional and global citizens capable of actively and ethically communicating and collaborating.

Here’s the digital technologies scope and sequence and the link to the Technologies Curriculum website.

This fits very well with our vision for students and digital technologies at Woodend. To better meet the needs of the curriculum and of our students learning in this area, we are re-imagining our current computer room space. As it stands, the computer room consists of rows of computers where students go for a weekly lesson. The developing vision for the future of this space will have a focus on exploration, creativity, inquiry and collaboration.

Our BYOD program will also support this new curriculum. With an emphasis on student collaboration and being able to access their learning anywhere at any time, we wish to harness the momentum we have gained over the last two years and build on it. We believe that more students with their own devices will support the higher order thinking that we are seeking to achieve. In working towards this goal we are encouraging parents to consider more Year 1 and 2 students bringing their devices to school. In particular we are asking that we strive for ALL students from Years 3 – 7 to bring a device to school from 2016.

We understand that many families have existing devices at home that are not iPads. Consequently, to support this Year 3-7 push, in 2016 we will broaden our BYOD program to include any mobile device students are able to use effectively on a daily basis. In this regard, phones and iPods, with their smaller screen size, are not likely to be the go to devices for regular use.

If you are buying a new device for your child we still strongly suggest that an iPad is the way to go. iPads work much more reliably on the school network, are free from viruses and offer substantial benefits for collaborative and creative learning opportunities. iPad minis have proven to be very good value.

We recognise that for some families a personal device for their child is going to be difficult. We wish to assure all families that across R-7 classes there will be additional shared school devices that support opportunities for all students to be hands on more often and able to collaborate and create more effectively. Our school purchases of digital technology for 2016 will build on the large number of school owned digital devices we already have and enhance this Year 3-7 BYOD push.

It’s very exciting to be building so strongly towards our vision for our learners!

We are happy to answer any questions you might have: Please make a comment on this Newsblog post.