Information and Communication Technology
Since 2012, when the school was identified for the Childhood iPad Initiative and was provided with 55 iPads, it has continued to build on this initial foundation. In 2013, there was an expansion of the iPads throughout the school, this continued in 2014 and 2015 with the school purchasing additional devices to complement its significant bank. In 2016 we commenced introducing laptops as an additional digital platform to ensure that our students had opportunities to access a variety of multi-media operating systems.
Our school prides itself on the advanced Information Technology available to all classes, Kindy to Year 6. All classrooms are connected to our network and have access to the Internet and our library systems. Children have access to desktop workstations, iPads, scanners, digital cameras, video cameras, laser printers and a comprehensive range of software. All classrooms have an interactive whiteboard that support teaching and learning.
The school has invested in considerable infrastructure to support the wireless network and improve the connectivity of these devices and has found that this platform creates considerably less problems than its computer network. Throughout this time, the school has kept at the forefront of its think the following three things when considering digital technologies:
- That they should enhances students’ learning in literacy and numeracy,
- That they should changes teacher’ pedagogical practices to include the use of these digital platforms and
- That they facilitate the development of creative approaches to using the devices
To this end, the ICT Implementation Group was created consisting of Mrs Rachael Lehr – Science Teacher, Mr Ralph Richardson – Head of ICT, Mr Stephen Boon – EAL/D, and Mr Ray Boyd – Principal. Collectively they have worked hard to streamline and develop effective and practical operational polices that support these three imperatives.
Work continues to be done in terms of monitoring licenses for the various applications and the working committee continues to identify and assess appropriate applications for these devices that will support student learning, with the additional principle of the applications having to add value to what is already being done across the school.
In 2015/16 the Department of Education will match dollar for dollar, up to $34 000, the school’s investment in digital technologies. To this end $72 000 will be invested in further enhancing these technologies across the school to support teachers in engaging students in a variety of electronic application that are intended to enhance the school’s curriculum, promote the development of coding and prepare for the planned movement of NAPLAN from paper to online tests.
‘Fitzroy Readers’ which were purchased as a digital set of readers to enable the early Childhood teachers to add another dimension to their literacy program in 2013 using this interactive tool, was expanded in 2014 and gain in 2015. Further to this, the use of the Doctor Phonics Program, that built on the work of Jolly Phonics, is used extensively in the EAL/D to support the work being done in the ECE classrooms and provide finer diagnostic data on students strengths and weaknesses in the area of phonics and phonemics.
In 2016 when the school’s digital environment undergoes an upgrade through work which will be carried out by the Department of Education’s ICT Team, our student population will have further access to digital technologies beyond the classroom, enabling and creating a transferable learning environment.
Parents are encouraged to follow the various activities that students are involved in through its Facebook page and twitter and Instagram account. In 2016 the school will move to a complete digital platform for its fortnightly newsletter through Schoolzine. Parents who wish to receive this will be able to subscribe directly to the service which will also publish calendar and event updates throughout the year.