An Intelligent Tool:
Information Communication Technology
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at Ivanhoe Girls’ is a powerful tool to enhance learning and provide our students with the skills they need to make the most of a technology-rich world, now and in the future. Driven by the curriculum, not vice versa, our use of ICT is integrated into our learning program and utilised as and when appropriate for girls’ learning. Our goal is to make the use of ICT throughout the School, as well as access from home, as flexible and seamless as possible.
Consequently our Information Technology infrastructure is up-to-date, flexible, expandable and accessible to all students. As in the commercial world where both Windows and Mac OS computers are used for the appropriate applications, both are used within the School. Students have ready access to Lenovo and Apple desktops, notebook computers, iPads and iTouch devices. This gives our girls the confidence to work within any computer platform using multiple digital devices while using a wide range of software applications.
All students in Years 5-8 use iPads as part of their regular learning under a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. This enables students to access a wide range of resources at any time and access all learning materials electronically whenever they are needed. Students in Years 9-12 are welcome to bring their own devices to classes and access learning materials electronically using the School’s wireless network.
Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are used throughout the School to enhance the School’s teaching and learning program. The opportunity to visualise new concepts as well as instantaneously access our intranet, hive, and the Internet is opening up a wonderful array of new learning.
Our Cyber Positive Education Program
Within all Prep-Year 12 learning areas there is a strong focus on responsible cyber-usage. At age-appropriate stages this includes social networking sites, use of Web 2.0 strategies to produce ethical and meaningful projects, and acquiring the knowledge and skills to work within a safe and positive online environment.
Our School is an accredited eSmart school. ‘An eSmart school is a school where the smart, safe and responsible use of information and communications technology is a cultural norm. Students, teachers and the wider school community are equipped to embrace the best these technologies can offer, while being savvy about the pitfalls’ (www.esmartschools.org.au). The framework for our approach is based on development in three areas which we call Cyber Positive Education, Cyber Savvy Application and Cyber Responsible Citizenship.
Our whole school approach, incorporating Pastoral Care and Library programs, provides girls with the knowledge, application skills and ethical decision-making skills to ensure that their cyber world experience is a safe, positive and responsible one.
Our Hardware Infrastructure
Every area of the School is well equipped with appropriate facilities, with all of our classrooms networked. All classrooms are provided with desktop computers for student and staff use, while scanners, digital cameras and colour printing enhance the teaching and learning program.
The School has six dedicated computer rooms, our Library has both Apple and Lenovo desktop and laptop computers together with iPods and iPads.
Our Internet (hive) and Intranet Access
All classrooms have wireless and cable connections to the School network allowing students and staff access to the Intranet, vast library resources, email and the Internet from every room in the School. Girls, their families and staff are able, via the internet, to access the School intranet and personal directories from home. Using the intranet (hive) enables students and parents to access information such as:
- Curriculum materials including homework, assignments and handouts
- Co-curricular activities, schedules and updated information
- On-line resources
- All of the School’s information resources and published documents
Integration Into the Curriculum
The effective use of computers throughout the School provides more opportunities for a greater student-centred, rather than teacher-centred, learning focus. Computers and technology are used far more efficiently to develop traditional skills of research, analysis of data and report presentation. All senior subjects require students to submit major projects demonstrating these skills. Throughout the curriculum, students are taught how to use the features of key software applications to further strengthen their technological capabilities.
Classroom learning is extended and enhanced using computers to provide direct “hands on” engagement in technically complex activities, such as using probes connected to computers to measure changes in temperature, oxygen concentration and motion in Science classes or polarmonitors to investigate heart rate changes during exercises in Physical Education, while on-site use of laptops in Geography fieldwork allows the immediate recording of data.
Computer technology also enables many experiences which are difficult to simulate in the classroom to be integrated into the curriculum. The internet provides access to an ever-increasing array of information from a wealth of sources and covers a diversity of fields, from genetic research to biographical data. Students learn to be critical and responsible users of information, to check the veracity of sources and to authenticate the information they find. Students as young as Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 use the internet to investigate authors, find critical commentaries and discover historical resources, stimulating student interest and involvement while practising communication skills.
Information Technology is a rapidly changing field that is already an integral part of our lives. It offers tremendous opportunities for our students’ learning when used as an intelligent tool. Ivanhoe Girls’ is determined to use this intelligent tool to enrich learning, while at the same time allowing our students to develop the full range of skills they will need in the future.