|| Digital Resources
Pedagogical underpinnings: Differentiation of the curriculum
Members of the school community at different levels (from the principal to the student) are explicitly clear about the pedagogical underpinnings of the CD resource package. All expressed their understanding that the main reason driving the production of the CDs was to better personalise students' learning experience through the differentiation of the curriculum.
The principal made the following point:
I think the most powerful or innovative use of the technology has been in supporting us as educators to differentiate the learning experience for our students. So the technology allows us to develop teaching and learning materials that will suit a range of abilities that you will inevitably have in any classroom environment. It gives us also the ability to capitalise on the range of learning preferences.... it does mean you can deliver material in a different way to those students. (Principal, Presbyterian Ladies' College)
In a focus group interview a teacher felt that offering students multiple ways of learning is part of a recognition of their humanity or individuality and was a valuable strategy in strengthening classroom relations:
...connecting with the students. That to me is the most important part. So we actually look at our girl’s learning styles and thinking styles and then we ... look at the technology and how that can actually enhance the students in building relationships with them. So for me, to be able to package up educational experiences in different ways... this is what you need to learn or think about and these are the multiple ways you can do it, [is] recognizing their humanity is saying I’m packing these in different ways because you are different. So that allows me to build a base or a foundation for good relationships [with] students. It’s recognition of their humanity in my classroom and it also allows me more time in my classroom because once the packages and the work is done, my focus is on how I would unlock the learning, not what I have to do. (Teacher, Presbyterian Ladies' College)
The school's valuing of differentiation through the CD resource package was portrayed via the following features of the package:
- learning materials developed at three different levels to cater to the different learning needs of students
- video recording of the classroom lessons (caters especially to students who were absent or those who benefit from listening to the lecturer's speech again and again)
- video recordings of the processes involved in solving mathematical questions
- questions posed may be hyperlinked to other modes of communicating the questions, such as audio, picture or movie
- hyperlinks to related websites
- the integration of the Provox software in the package allows students to practise and self-assess their LOTE pronunciations
- Audio-video and text materials facilitating self-revision of expected known content knowledge for new Year 7 students and new boarders
Some screen shots are included:
Screenshot of Chemistry resource CD, showing webpage layout and video supporting textual information.
Screenshot of Chemistry resource CD, showing assessment .webpage, and how hovering the mouse over the question reveals the answer to facilitate student self assessment.
Humanities CD resource with hyperlinks to relevant external sites/organisations and audio files, and incorporating student tasks.