Information and Communication Technologies play a major role in the programs at Heidelberg Primary School, with computers and multi-media being integrated into each subject area to enhance the teaching and learning. The school council and parent community has provided significant financial resources to increase the provision of ICT resources to our students, as we see that computers and computer like devices have an important role to play not only in improving student learning outcomes but also preparing our students to be responsible and productive 21st century citizens.
At Heidelberg Primary School each classroom has an electronic whiteboard, and at least 5 desktop Mac computers. As well, each class has access to a class set of MacBook notebooks, and a set of MacBook Pro notebooks. Classes also have access to a range of computer peripherals, such as still and video cameras, scanners, electronic magnifiers, printers, audio recorders, etc.
As well as using computers in their classroom, each class attends one ICT session per week with our computer specialist in the ICT Lab. During these classes students learn specific computer skills that are reinforced during regular classroom activities. These sessions are also an opportunity for students to discuss their individual computer learning needs, and to reinforce behaviors that enable the students to stay safe online, and are consistent with being responsible online citizens.
Heidelberg Primary School has an extensive intranet, which allows students and teachers to save and share files, and access shared network resources, such as our online library program that allows students to search and borrow from our library collection. Students are able to access the intranet, and the internet beyond, via our wireless network.
We believe the jewel in our ICT crown is our 1:1 iPad program, which operates from grades 3 – 6. Students are able to bring an iPad of their own from home, or they can lease or borrow one from the school. The students use the iPad as a learning tool in their regular school day. Typical iPad activities might be to word process a persuasive text using Pages, to produce a short advertisement or dramatic piece using iMovie, a mind map using Popplet, or to research a topic under investigation using the Safari internet browser then create a presentation using Keynote to send to their teacher via email. The students learn with, not about the iPad. We believe the iPad allows for anytime, anywhere learning.
Currently each student has their own Heidelberg Primary email address, and many of our classes have their own blog, which they use to communicate with parents and share aspects of their daily learning. Parents are able to order from our canteen service, purchase items of school uniform and book parent teacher interviews online. Our school is also moving toward ensuring all of its regular communications with parents are via email as we believe this is not only more immediate and efficient, but by reducing our reliance on photocopying, has the added advantage of being environmentally friendly.
Graham Jackson – ICT Coordinator