Keeping Up With Changing Technology in Schools
Did you know alarm clocks are among a growing number of gadgets at risk of being wiped out due to technology? Most people now use their smartphone alarm. Stand-alone GPS are becoming obsolete also due to smartphones and their mapping apps. Kodak went out of business unable to compete with digital photography. Businesses need to find ways to adapt to these changes in technology to keep up with demand and to keep their place in the market. Schools are not exempt.
At Santa Maria College, we are blessed to have exceptional staff, facilities and equipment which enable students to have access to state-of-the-art technology in the classroom.
Below, Melissa Marshall, Head of Digital Learning/Head of Technology and Commerce, explains how technology is used in the classroom at Santa Maria.
- Our students have access to quality hardware. Each classroom is equipped with a projector or screen, and staff have access to a MacBook to prepare and organise resources and multimedia-based lessons. For specialist classes such as Digital Media and Photography, students use industry-standard digital cameras and equipment.
- We focus on technology’s ability to create and communicate, rather than consume. Students spend time creating responses to what they learn rather than recording everything that the teacher says. This ability also allows for differentiated learning, where students can respond to the same content but in different ways. If one student wants to make a video, and another create a brochure, this can be supported through technology.
- We spend time working with our teachers. Teachers at Santa Maria have the best interests of the students at heart and put a lot of effort into developing engaging lessons. If they need a program, app or tool to conduct a survey, create a quiz, enable online assessment submission, gather video responses to a question or play a game, we can match the learning needs and year level of the class to something that will help them achieve this goal. The aim is for visible learning, invisible technology – where the student is at the centre of the learning and the technology could help us get there.
- We use the right tool for the job. If a task is enhanced and enriched by technology, we will use technology to accomplish it. Sometimes the technology is not the best option, and we can use paper and pen to demonstrate learning.
Technology can also allow us to do things not possible prior to its introduction – what a wonderful opportunity we have to make connections with others all around the world and learn from them. This week our Year 5 students made one of these connections through the organisation Skype A Scientist.