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

Evolving Technologies in Teaching

The technology integration team within Scotch's ILT group is charged with the responsibility of reviewing if and when new technologies should be incorporated into our teaching and learning environments from Pre-Kindy to Year 12. Technology has to have applicability and longevity toward improving the teaching and learning experience. Any fad that is all whizz-bang and no substance has no place in the teaching programmes at Scotch College.

If a technology has identifiable value the integration team works with students and teachers alike to ensure it is developed and used optimally to aid teachers in their teaching and students in their learning. In this way the decisions on which devices will be used by teachers and students, what software best meets our needs, the digital spaces we work in and the websites and digital resources we need to use, all evolve along a same path toward our common end – achieving the best teaching and learning experience possible at Scotch College.

For example, a small bank of tablet devices each with an active stylus is available in the short term to teachers wishing to explore how technology change may help them teach differently and better. With assistance and guidance from the integration team the teachers develop skills with the device and more importantly explore if and how the device can be best used for teaching in their discipline. Mobile devices may not be applicable to all disciplines but when it is, it is the research and practice of new teaching methods that is the focus. Without significant change in teaching pedagogy, the benefits of a new technology cannot be fully exploited to the advantage of the students.

As a result of this programme several teachers from both Mathematics and Commerce trialled the devices over an extended period in their teaching. These disciplines are particularly suited to using a stylus. Their personal experiences enabled them to identify significant improvements in the way they were able to interact, teach and record the activities in the classroom. Improvements that could be replicated across their disciplines. As a consequence, in 2019 the teachers of Mathematics and Commerce are supported with an iPad and Apple Pencil.

The integration team looks forward to continuing this programme with our teachers and to those future interactions that will lead to improved teaching and learning experiences at Scotch College.

Dr Nick Spadaccini
ILT Curriculum Integration Manager