When UWCSEA first developed its vision for 21st century learning, good pedagogy, not technology, was at the the heart of that vision. We were seeking to improve learning and develop skills through:
- flexible progression
- critical thinking
- unhindered innovation
- collaborative learning
This vision was very clearly linked back to our mission and values, which was one aspect of why the vision is shared so consistently amongst our senior leadership team. The programme, called iLearn for short, is an integral part of the College’s Strategic Plan, both within the learning programme and in terms of infrastructure development.
Since the launch of iLearn in 2011 our leadership team, from the Head of College on down, has attended various IT-specific workshops and conferences to constantly review and develop our programme. These workshops include Learning 2, Punya Mishra, Alan November and Apple Leadership events.
Research-based best practice provides us with a clear understanding of what good pedagogy is. This is partly articulated through the UWCSEA learning principles and partly through the use of established strategies such as formative assessment or Readers and Writers Workshop. Once these practices are linked with subject area knowledge it can lead to the development of technology toolkits. These toolkits contain technology tools that have proven value add, that can be clearly articulated, in the subject area.
|James Dalziel, Head of East Campus is, amongst other things, an Apple Professional Development Consultant who specialises in Vision in Leadership. The image above is from one of his training sessions.|
Growing Up Digital
All new families receiving college laptops attend sessions to provide support. First, the 'out of the box' session takes care of the formalities of receiving a laptop, understanding the terms of the user agreement, and making sure they can get started with using it. Second, we host a 'growing up digital' parent evening where families come to focus on developing some agreements around the use of the laptop and digital media in the home. By giving families specific time and a protocol to focus discussion, we’ve found that they’re better equipped to negotiate limits and establish healthy behaviours from the start. Doing so results in stronger partnerships between student, parents, and the school regarding digital learning and reduces distractions and conflict.