Rationale & Goals
Our goal is to empower our students to fulfil God’s purpose for their lives. We want to enable them so that they can change the world. We help them to discover their talents. We teach them to develop and use those talents. We enable them to take a place in our society. We equip them with the attitudes and skills to be leaders in their fields and to honor God in both what they do and the way they do it. We teach them to think and to know and understand God and the gospel.
Improving Teaching and Learning
In order to achieve this goal, the College attempts to use facilities that provide more diverse, deeply engaging learning opportunities matched to each student’s needs. In recent years, particularly through the use of iPads, we have found that ICT-enabled teaching and learning allow for more active engagement in learning. Activities and styles of engagement previously impossible or difficult to achieve are now readily attainable. New learning opportunities are being discovered.
For example, iPads allow:
- the use of specific apps to support specific needs
- self-paced and/or self-directed learning
- engagement in learning a more diverse range of places
- a wider range of ways to demonstrate learning.
Preparing For The Future
In preparing our students for their futures, it is important that we need to acknowledge a number of factors. Firstly, according to Professor Linda Darling-Hammond[i], knowledge workers will soon represent 70% of first-world economies. Schools are preparing students for jobs that do not exist, hence there is a need to focus on deep abilities — the so-called 21st-century skills: including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication[ii] [iii].
Secondly, the volume of information and its availability is rapidly increasing. Google estimated that every two days in 2010 as much information was created on the internet as was generated in an entire year in 2003[iv]. In the same year, the number of devices that were accessing the internet was the same as Earth’s total population. By 2015, it is estimated that there will be the equivalent of two devices per person[v]! For this reason, it is important to equip our students to thrive in an information-rich world.
Thirdly, highly mobile, personal ICT devices, like iPads, are becoming increasingly common tools in work and life. The wealth of information available online is already embedded in everyday life. Consequently, we believe that by allowing our students to use personal technology as part of their learning while at school, we have the opportunity to teach students the skills and attitudes of a life-long learner.
Broader Educational Context
The Australian Curriculum emphasises the significant differences inherent in learning in the 21st century[vi]. The whole curriculum is built around the development of a set of general capabilities: literacy, numeracy, ICT competence, creative and critical thinking, ethical behaviour, personal and social competence, and intercultural understanding. Together, these capabilities are important to individuals living in a world where technology allows for learning to occur ‘anywhere, anytime’.
Educational research about the influences of 1-to-1 ICT provision in learning suggests that it improves student engagement[vii] and creates an environment more conducive to effective innovation in pedagogy (teaching and learning) [viii]. A recent study indicates that in an all-digital learning context, ‘iPad promotes both efficient use of time and more learning moments’[ix]. Importantly, research suggests that it is better to view ICT not as a technological tool but rather as a cognitive tool[x] [xi].
Our purpose for asking students to bring their own iPad is to provide additional ways to support the development of their God-given gifts and talents via deeply engaged learning that simultaneously promotes strengths, helps to improve areas of weaknesses, and facilitates opportunities to discover new or latent talents.
It should be noted that while ICT facilitated learning will be a significant focus at Redlands College, support for the emotional, physical, social and spiritual growth of our students remains important in our community.
ICT can be used as a tool and an environment for learning in a range of different ways. At Redlands College, we summarise the range of uses as 5 Cs. Students also use their iPad as a self-management tool.
As a broad guide, we have the following goals for the iPad programme:
- iPads will be used to facilitate teaching and learning by allowing students to:
- access, use, create and publish digital and online information
- develop knowledge, understanding skills through creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving
- collaborate with others
- communicate, in a variety of ways, their knowledge and learning experiences.
- Students will use the iPad as a tool to manage their work and learning.
- Students will develop age-appropriate ICT skills and understandings, including the responsibilities of online citizenship.
- Students will accept responsibility for:
- their personal actions when using ICT
- the care and functionality of their iPad.
Core And Specialist Technologies
At Redlands College we consider information communication technologies (ICT) to be important tools to support and facilitate learning. Some technologies need to be available in every subject; others need to be available for specific subjects. Consequently, ICT is deployed in two forms: core ICTand specialist ICT.
iPad=personal ICT desktops and laptops=specialist ICT
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Core ICT are personal technologies immediately available and easy for students to use to support their learning. These technologies allow for a diverse range of learning opportunities and provide our teachers with a common and consistent ICT foundation. All students in Years 4 – 9 require an iPad as their core ICT for learning.
Specialist ICT represents technologies that are needed in specific subjects for specific purposes, e.g., Art, Business Studies, Film Television and New Media, Graphics, Information Technology Studies, Media Studies and Music. The College provides these facilities in accord with and matched to the requirements of the particular subject. Students may still use their iPads to supplement these technologies.