Integration of Learning Technologies
Today technology and learning is in a perpetual relationship. Digital Learning is the predominant pedagogy of our time. The shift from the more traditional forms of learning to learning with and through technology has been profoundly influenced by the world in which we live. New technologies infuse daily life. The digital resources available to our students allow them to connect with a global community, anywhere and at any time. The nature of what and how they will learn is determined by the world in which they live. The pace and nature of learning is affected by the emerging technologies and as educators we embrace these changes, helping to shape the future as we work with our students to develop knowledge and understanding. Our approach is holistic, based on an understanding of the realities of living and working in the digital age.
The successful practices and policies implemented by the School reflect its constructive response to this dynamic world. Firbank’s response has been to build a sound flexible platform from which to operate, explore and navigate foreseeable changes. The School provides a technology-rich environment responding to a curriculum built around knowledge-based programs involving critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and problem solving. This allows students the best opportunities to develop those skills and practices to equip them for life-long learning.
The resources provided include PC and Mac computer labs as well as pods where students can engage in self -paced learning. All classrooms have fully interactive displays which utilise the convergence of many different forms of technology, that enable learners to engage with multi-modal content that caters for all learning styles. Students in every subject discipline have access to learning devices that allow them to research and organise data, from school and from home. Communication is a key aspect of the School’s philosophy both in and out of the classroom. The underpinning value system of the School gives students a framework within which to make responsible choices and decisions in a digital world where sometimes clear boundaries have not been defined.
The School has embarked upon its digital journey knowing that this is the best medium of our time that motivates and inspires our young people to learn. Teachers have embraced their changing role with enthusiasm and are supported by a comprehensive professional learning program, reinforcing our belief that we are all life long learners.
The School has a detailed Strategic Plan for the use of Information Communication Technologies. We are committed to:
- providing learning experiences which are not bound by time, space or traditional pedagogy
- providing students with more differentiated learning experiences
- developing Digital Age skills: creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research and information fluency, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making
The implementation of the Plan is supported by extensive professional learning opportunities for staff including attendance at conferences and school visits, overseas and interstate. The Firbank, Learning & Innovation Centre (FLIC), situated on the Senior School campus, also provides many professional learning opportunities for our staff.
Following extensive iPad trials during 2011 to investigate what role the iPad might play in the educational program of the School, the decision was made to introduce iPads. The school’s 1:1 learning program has developed extensively and in 2015, all students in Years 3-11 have a personal device. This has created many new opportunities to enhance both teaching and learning. In addition, various subject disciplines offer virtual and on-line units of work to extend and support face-to-face teaching and offer alternate ways to deliver courses and personalise learning.