Local and Global
This Digistory focuses on exemplary school and community engagement practices that address particular community needs and engage students in rich, topical and socially responsible projects.
...if you look at the data for our school - and we are probably a socio-economically disadvantaged school; most of our ... sixty percent non-English speaking background, having different language groups, most of our kids come from lower socio-economic families, a lot of migrant families. The community is not heavily engaged in the school. They're supportive of what we do, but they don't have a lot of expertise themselves. We felt that technology was a way of engaging the kids, and to give them opportunities which they don't get at home. (Principal, Brookvale High)
Technology creates a focus for engagement in all aspects at Brookvale school. There has been a concerted attempt to gather, maintain, enhance and employ technology in the widest variety of ways at this school despite limited funds and specific challenges.
When we started here, we didn't have any parents with computers. We did some research a few years ago, but I would say now that only about 50 percent of our families actually have a computer at home. So obviously the importance of technology and what we try to do in a number of other programs in schools, is to give kids access and opportunities that they wouldn't otherwise have. (Principal, Brookvale Public School)
We were one of the pioneers in terms of website design and schools, so if you look at our website, you can see archival information going back to probably 1996, when our website was established, and that's very early for a school to be involved in technology. It also coincided with the arrival of ... our [Assitant Principal], who ... had a philosophy of integrating technology into the classroom, rather than taking kids out of the classroom to a computer room. Because in 1996, the only technology that was going on in schools was in computer rooms, where you'd take kids out of the classroom, you'd go and do computer say once a week, and that was your computer lesson. So what [he] had tried to do, and I've tried to support him as much as I can, is to integrate technology into the classroom.
This school uses its student authored website to communicate school activities to the community, to celebrate the work of students at all levels and as a vehicle for purposeful language study. (Principal, Brookvale Public School)