Many2one 2013 – 2014 vision as we move into our next triennium 2015 – 2017
At St Stephen’s School we grow people and we see teaching and learning as an opportunity to engage with each other in exciting learning experiences. Our understanding and use of technology is important in supporting these engaging learning relationships.
The rate of technological change in our world is rapidly increasing particularly in the use of mobile devices and online access. Both the purchase and use of smart phones and tablet devices have exceeded that of desktop and laptop computers. Technology and its use is ubiquitous. The Australian Government’s commitment to the National Broadband Network further demonstrates the inevitability of the place of technology in schools and education. The educational challenge presented by such technological change and growth is how to help our students grow and develop the digital citizenship competencies necessary for the wise and effective use of ICT. With this in mind St Stephen’s School approaches the place of ICT in the School from a perspective of technological imperative rather than simply technological opportunity. Consequently, while there may be well documented educational benefits from using technology in the educational space, our approach to the use of technology is primarily motivated by our philosophy of growing people.
Students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at our School, from Kindergarten to Year 12. Our students need to learn to make the most of the digital technologies available to them, adapt to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limit the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment. With this in mind St Stephen’s School has developed an iDigital program that aligns the development of digital competencies with the level of responsibilities and access that a student may be given. From Kindergarten to Year 4 students are eligible for a Bronze licence that provides for the development of foundational digital competencies with access to a protected online environment (white list only). During Year 4 students who have accomplished the competencies necessary for a Silver licence and have sponsorship from both their parents and their teachers may apply for a Silver licence (black list). Similarly, during Year 8 students may apply for a Gold licence with greater responsibility and access. If and when students breach the expectations of a particular licence level, their licences are revoked and they revert to a lower level licence. This action can be initiated by either the School or the student’s parents.
The development and growth of digital competencies in our students is more effective when the School and parents work together in partnership. The School encourages parents to make technological decisions with their child in consultation with the School. The introduction of the Many2One program was to provide parents and students with the flexibility and responsibility to choose the technology that best suits their family. To support the effective implementation of the Many2One program, St Stephen’s School has focused on the provision of a wireless infrastructure to support multiple devices and multiple platforms.
While the Many2One program is now an integral part of our school community the next phase is to focus our energies on “bring your own browser”. We aim to open up our recommendations of devices to be independent of brand name or type of device. Our families would choose their mobile devices based predominantly on their ability to function seamlessly within an online virtual world reliant on cloud and web technologies.