The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Integrated Technology + Teaching Strategies = Innovative Learning  

Office 365 is changing the way educators organise and teach in the classroom. This technology enables lessons to be more collaborative, interactive and enriched with embedded video, podcasts and surveys. At Scotch College this technology is integrated with tried and tested teaching strategies to maximise student engagement and learning. This integrated approach builds skills in research, communication, critical thinking and self-management, preparing the students for their digital futures.                  

Science and HASS students, asked to research current world issues, benefit from shared digital notebooks containing curated information from research guides and databases as well as a step-by-step research organiser to plan, collect, record, verify and reference information. Topics which were once restricted by the textbooks available are now limited only by the students' imagination, and recent student projects have shown how innovative the students are. This accessibility to resources ignites curiosity and challenges them to ask deeper questions.  

Students use creative and critical thinking strategies in a dedicated collaborative space in the notebook to brainstorm ideas, and record what they know and what they need further research. With the teacher providing a broad topic the challenge for the students is to come up with a deep and meaningful research question. The students communicate their results with the help of a step-by-step script writing tool. What was once mandated a PowerPoint presentation can now be a podcast, a "TED talk", an infographic, Q & A, a news broadcast or a documentary. Students are innovative in their use of technology to share ideas, collaboratively construct knowledge and to communicate.      

Digital notebooks in conjunction with effective strategies such as Cornell Note Taking, with online planners and timetables allow students to organise their study time and notes, building their self-management skills. The opportunity for students to source or create and then share their own online quizzes improves memory retention and helps exam preparation.    

By combining current and available technologies from with known and effective teaching strategies the educational needs of the students are be better met. The skills gained and outcomes achieved from integrating technology in the education process better prepares students for their personal and professional technological lives.  

Ms Adelle Wilkes
ILT Integration Specialist 
Information and Research Specialist