Technology for Learning - TFL
Keeping ISL moving forward in education
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at ISL includes all devices, systems and methods used to acquire, process, store and disseminate information. The use of ICT extends to all the teaching and learning in all subjects across the curriculum.
At ISL we aim to expose our students to a variety of platforms (both hardware and software), to encourage them to access information from a wide range of sources, and to collaborate and communicate with their peers, their teachers and the whole community. The school provides different types of devices to use in ICT-based tasks, and we also promote the responsible use of students’ own technology.
Aim of the programme
We are in the midst of the digital information revolution and this is reflected in the changing nature of today’s society. Our aim is to prepare our students for the world of tomorrow.
This means that access to technology should be driven by the needs of the learner and the world in which they live. Through the appropriate, wide ranging use of technology, our goal is to increase student engagement and motivation, and enable them to achieve their full potential as independent learners.
Vision and Model
Information Communications and Technology (ICT) at ISL strives to promote the attitudes, values and skills that learners will require to become competent and confident digital citizens within our learning community and the global environment.
The focus of Technology for Learning is driven from the ISL strategic plan goal 4. A visual model was created by embracing commonalities from:
- the school mission statement
- the IT plan mission statement
- the strategic goal 4 on Technology for Learning
- the ATL mission statement
These commonalities were grouped into categories to capture the essence of the program so that the vision would reflect and orchestrate our model.
Objectives for implementing a TFL programme
- To provide students access to all educational software
- To provide an anytime, anywhere learning (ubiquitous access to online services and educational applications)
- To provide students an ICT tool to support, enrich and extend the learning across the whole curriculum
- To fulfil student needs in today’s digital world to facilitate the development of the following skills:
- Experiment/explore and develop ideas
- Collaborate, exchange and share information both directly and through electronic media
- Transform, amend, refine work and enhance quality and accuracy of work
- Review, modify and evaluate their work, reflecting critically on its quality, as it progresses.
- To provide students an ICT tool to produce high quality end products
- To allow students to be able to print to photocopying machines from their computer
- To provide a secure IT environment
- To provide an ICT tool that can be used as a mechanism to foster increased links between home and school
- To create a sense of ownership
- To allow students to be able to connect usb devices and have low level admin rights to their machine
- To support multiple learning styles
- To prepare students/teachers for the world of tomorrow and life after ISL.
- To encourage all teachers to use ICT in their delivery of the curriculum
- To foster multi-platform devices (PC and Mac)
Educational benefits for implementing a TFL programme
After an extensive research period and numerous school visits to discover the best model for ISL, it was concluded that students in Years 3 to 13 would benefit most from such a program and the committee found that a technology rich environment can lead to:
- Improved student engagement / motivation
- Continued PD and improvement of staff IT skills
- Modernization/continual refresh of curriculum & resources
- More collaboration amongst staff & students
- Students being better prepared for university and life outside ISL
Some background information
In January 2011, in preparation for the next computer roll out (that expired at the end of the 2012-2013 year) and in readiness for the next 3 year cycle (2013-14 to 2015-16) a committee was formed to review technology for learning at ISL. The committee’s aim was to consider possible directions the ISL technology program could develop with a view to implementing a possible 1-1 program. The committee has since grown and in 2012 gained approval, from both the leadership team and board of trustees, for a 1-1 program. The committee has since developed appropriate policies to ensure optimum success of the 1:1 program, its implementation and day to day running from both a pedagogical and technical perspective.
Reflection on the first year of the TFL programme
After the first year of the implementation of the Technology for Learning programme, ISL undertook a school wide survey to ascertain the success of the programme. A report was compiled to review the results of the survey and a summary of the three main takeaways based on the first year of the TFL implementation was presented to the school Board. Below is a summary of those three points:
- We would never want to go back
We are now providing students access to technology which reflects the world they live in and we are fulfilling our Technology for Learning (TfL) vision, aims and objectives. As the ISL TfL model attempts to illustrate, we now:
- provide ISL students the opportunity to develop the skills required to better prepare them for the world of tomorrow,
- provide a technology rich environment which will better equip ISL students for life in the digital world
- can educate ISL student the values and attitudes necessary to become responsible and safe user of technology in the aim to make them better digital citizens.
The question we are now posing ourselves is not whether we would go back but how we can best move forward in this ever changing technological world that surrounds us all.
- Technology is becoming more and more an essential and central tool to support pedagogy
Technology infiltrates every aspects of teaching and learning from planning, teaching, creating and delivering content, assessing, reflecting, communicating, collaborating and we are becoming more and more reliant on it.
- Success of a TfL programme is determined by how solid and well established the IT infrastructure is
A reliable and solid IT infrastructure and well established IT resources are key for driving and maintaining a successful TfL programme. IT systems to hardware to IT support to IT integration are all vital factors in ensuring the programme continues to grow and strengthen fruitfully.