Technology has changed the way we work, be it any profession. Therefore, it is only but natural the role of technology in education has been given a lot of prominence in the recent years. At its most basic form we recognise that it is important for every individual today, to have a basic knowledge of technology.
DigiDays and Moodle
As the new millennium begins we appreciate that a more fundamental change in the nature of schools and schooling is necessary to fully prepare students for their career paths. As part of this preparation HeronBridge College has launched the DigiDay system. This means that for about six days spread over the schooling year students receive and submit all their work digitally using Moodle. Moodle is an ‘interactive’ environment, used for providing lesson content to student via the internet. Students do not need to come in to school in DigiDays, all their assignments are posted on Moodle, and they submit the completed work in the same way.
Through DigiDays we foster critical thinking, greater interpretative skills, time management and the ability to work independently. Teachers are still available to students for support through emails.
The use of technology in learning does not end with the use of Moodle and DigiDays. At HeronBridge College the traditional library has been transformed into The Hub. The Hub houses a set of twenty-five laptops which are used by students during breaks and after school for work they want to complete digitally. These computers are also used by teachers during the school day for lessons that are presented and completed using the laptops.
In addition, the Hub plays the role of a traditional library, with an extensive collection of fiction and non-fiction books. Even here, though, HeronBridge College has embraced technology, and students have the option to download books onto Kindles, which can then be booked out as any book can from a library.
iPads in the classroom enables teachers to focus on engagement, creativity and inquiry-based learning. iPads provide a tool to aid learning, as this empowers students to engage in the transformation of learning experiences, which would not be possible without iPad technology. We aim to teach our students to be creative problem solvers; we want them to be leaders who can analyse a variety of sources while synthesising information to create a thorough understanding of a problem. HeronBridge has a travelling set of twenty-five iPads that are used by teachers as appropriate in different subjects and lessons.
HeronBridge College has two fully equipped computer centres. These are used for IT and CAT lessons, but are also booked for other lessons that are computer based. Through computer technology we are assisting students to achieve their full development potential. Taking our role in preparing students to go into the world, it seems clear that there should be a connection between the world and the classroom. Ensuring that education reflects the world in which it exists, it has relevance for the students.