Leadership and Learning
Technology, Teaching and Learning
The research conducted by Reece High School into ICTs had two foci:
- Selection of hardware and software platforms, including the role of laptops and computer laboratories.
- Bringing about a teaching and learning focus for the effective uses of ICTs across the entire school.
There was a recognition from Cherie that some people would need help with that and so 4 people were underloaded as far as direct teaching went for a week - for 3 blocks a week, which amounted to a day a week. So there were virtually 4 days of support in the school for principal teachers, to help them implement and incorporate ICT into their program. (Teacher, Reece High School)
Teachers working in teams (see the Digistory "Professional Development") at this school have developed a working style that emphasises relationship building and cooperative planning of problem-based learning activities. This school identifies as a learning community in which teachers, students and the wider community are all involved.
A strong motivational and comprehensive approach to student learning can be achieved through problem-solving projects facilitated by Virtual Learning Environments. Reece High School's organisational structure provides the planning context, and the school intranet is used to provide this complete picture of the students' work. This typically includes:
- The task - presented as a problem
- The context - local or global but far-reaching in terms of curricula
- The resources needed as documents or citations
- A workspace for each student to place drafts
- Feedback through a discussion forum
- Places for shared work
- Assessment rubric
Notably, these intranet spaces are also considered to be an effective conduit between school and home, enabling parent observation and assistance as well as easy access to work in progress.
Figure 1: Reece High School Intranet used to document units of work and students’ point of view
To give an example when we do our units on history we don't just do lots of statistics and dates but the kids will look at well what's happening now and why is it? Like what impacted these things in the past have on today, so you learn the value at first, history rather than just to be able to reel off dates, which I think is a much more valuable lesson than to know Captain Cook arrived on this date. So what about Captain Cook, what did that mean for us now? (Assistant Principal, Reece High School)