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

Information Learning Technology

In his last Thistle article, the Headmaster reflected on the importance of time away from digital devices and the need for balance between online activity and physical activity.  This is particularly important with smart phones as well as iPads and laptops.

In the Junior School, not many of the boys have their own smart phones, however we still look to achieve balance with our 1:1 iPad programme.  iPads are used in class when they are the best tool for the task, which is not all the time in the classroom. The balance for teachers of younger students is to make sure that when the students use their iPads, their interaction is more active (creating ideas) rather than passive (just clicking to answer questions.)

Wherever possible, the Junior School boys are using their school iPads to create. Creation is important as the boys have to start with a blank canvas and produce something to demonstrate what they know or understand.

While there is a time and place for accessing content on apps– Reading Eggs quizzes or Mathspace and Mathletics allowing for practice of concepts, the iPads are really at their most effective when the students are able to design, record, draw or video to prove their understanding.

I was interested to hear Dr Joanne Orlando speak at a recent WA Education summit about current trends in children' s informal use of technology based on her research.  Her research included spending times in Australian households looking at how families managed all technology use in their homes.   At home when your child is wanting to use their iPad; options to create a movie or a stop motion video, compose a song, make an audio book, or create some code to develop a game are always great options. Any app that encourages the boys to start from scratch, create, think, act and draw will lead to great learning.

As the Headmaster stated moderation is the key, it is a great idea to set a time limit that suits your household and include some physical activity after any iPad/ screen time to balance the digital activity.

Mrs Amanda Ritchie
ILT Integration Specialist