Holly Jacob is a Year 5 teacher and Digital Technologies coordinator at Queen of the Apostles School in Riverton. ICT learning and technology is embedded throughout the school’s curriculum and is used to promote student engagement, motivation and excellence, and ClassVR plays a significant role.
The School’s STEM engineering process is modelled on Lee Crockett’s Future Focussed Learning Model using the 6Ds (defining, discovering, dreaming, designing, delivering and debriefing). To give the students an authentic experience with the process, the school looked at problems in the local environment and one of the focuses was on local bees. “The population of native bees are declining. A number of factors are contributing to this, so we used the 6Ds to explore further” says Holly.
To help the students understand the issues, Holly searched the ClassVR portal for VR videos of bees in their typical habitats. Holly explored the ‘Community Tab’ via the ClassVR platform and discovered a school in England who had uploaded a 360 degree video of the inside of a beehive. Not only does ClassVR have a plethora of classroom-ready content, but other users can create, upload and share thier own content too.
Holly was able to easily download the video to the headset for her class, “Our students were able to experience the inside of the beehive and see different roles of the bees. From there we discussed the importance of bees for pollination, the decline in numbers and the possible impacts. It was a great conversation starter.”
“ClassVR allowed us to see the bee’s living conditions and gave us great ideas for bee hotels,” says one of Holly’s Year 5 students. “As the native bees are not honey bees that live in hives, we wanted to make a safe resting place for them so they can continue to pollinate plants for us. It is very important to help them survive. We monitored our hotels daily and could see that they were becoming a home to a growing number of bees”.
The School was invited to present their learnings at the the Catholic Education WA (CEWA) STEM Showcase Day.
“We couldn’t take live bees with us so again we used ClassVR technology to demonstrate bees in their natural environment,” says Holly. “The preparation was minimal, but it had the biggest impact on the day. There were lines and lines of children wanting to see the beehive. It was a great starting point for engagement between my students and those visiting our stand. From there they could show off their bee hotels and discuss ongoing solutions. It was so lovely to listen to their conversations and see that those visiting our stand were walking away with a new consideration for bees”.
Ongoing learning is key at Queen of Apostles so the school’s next steps are to design more hotels and habitats for the bees using Minecraft EDU and upload the 3D image to the ClassVR headsets so other students can explore them in depth before creating the real thing.
Katy De Caprio and Annemarie Dembo are the dynamic duo that look after ICT and resources at Winthrop Primary School.
Ethical Device Sanitisation & Disposal
Winthrop Primary School had 60 old devices, a mix of iPads and MacBook Pros, that needed to be wiped and disposed of so Katy and Annemarie had started exploring options for their disposal.
The school had an obligation to sanitise the machines prior to any disposal and also wanted to ensure that they were disposed of ethically, so Annemarie gained a number of quotes from recycling companies.
“The timing was perfect.” recalls Katy, “At a regular visit, I was talking to John about our intent to wipe and dispose of our devices and it was then that we learned about the Solutions IT Buyback program”.
Technology Buyback Program
Solutions IT’s Buyback program is a fast, simple and effective trade-in solution for old devices. Quite simply, old devices are traded in for cash. The program offers competitive market leading valuations and complete data integrity which includes a sanitation certificate.
“John did pretty much everything.” laughs Katy, “It was super easy; we gave him the list of devices with serial numbers that we simply had copied from our inventories. He came back a few days later with a price. As per our school protocol, we went to two other companies for a comparison but Solutions IT’s offer was by far the most competitive, so we accepted it.”
The pick-up process is easy and completely free, “We were given simple instructions on how to pack up the devices. Luckily, we didn’t need to clean off any sticky residue from our labels as that would have taken someone a day to clean at least. Another saving.”
“When John advised that the goods had been received and checked by the data destruction company we raised an invoice to Solutions IT. Soon after, we rece ived the funds along with a data destruction sanitisation certificate. The whole process took about 3 weeks.”
Saved Dollars & Gained Dollars
“We were delighted!” says Annemarie, “We avoided paying hundreds of dollars to a company to wipe and dispose of our old machines, and on top of that we ended up receiving enough money to fund six additional iPads! Win, win, win!”
If you would like to learn more about Solutions IT’s Buyback Program for your school, contact us today.
When Windows 7 reaches end of support on 14 January 2020, your computer will still function but Microsoft will no longer provide the following:
Technical support for any issues
Security updates or fixes
While you could continue to use your PC running Windows 7, without continued software and security updates, it will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10. And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended.
All Saints’ College, Perth is one of Australia’s leading independent Anglican coeducational schools. From Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, All Saints’ believe in creating learning environments that encourage students to pursue excellence in all they do.
As a way to foster innovative thinking, students from Yr 7 – 10 participate weekly in a program called ‘InnovatED’. The program is facilitated by a multi-disciplinary team of teachers who are working with students to co-design the curriculum so that the class draws upon students’ own interests and concerns. At the core of InnovatED sits problem-finding, collaboration, and Design Thinking.
Earlier this term a new project was presented at InnovatED. Greg Port, Head of ICT Integration explains, “Various College service partners pitched different problems and sought input from the School to help solve them. Students chose a problem of interest and a year 8 group chose to respond to this problem from The Salvation Army:
‘The Salvation Army provides a variety of education and community awareness programs. To promote these, they attend a variety of schools, fairs and community events. They need an engaging virtual reality tour of their Doorways facility in Northbridge so they can show the public what they do.’
STUDENT LED SOLUTION – CLASSVR
Having ClassVR as a school resource was integral to how the students responded to the challenge. They knew that ClassVR was not only used for consuming content in the classroom. They also understood that they could create their own content and easily upload it to the headsets to give the end user an immersive experience of their creation.
They had ability and confidence to be creative and decided to create a prototype ‘tour’ using their school.
The students split into several teams each responsible for a different part of the project, one group wrote the script for their VR walkthrough, the second researched using a 360° camera and how to effectively capture video content and present it as a POV, and the third team collaborated and discussed on how best to edit the content professionally finally settling on utilising the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. When each team was ready they pooled their resources, filmed, edited, and uploaded.
Once they were happy with their video, they simply uploaded it to the ClassCloud library within the teacher portal. When the Salvation Army were ready to view, the students dragged and dropped the video into a playlist and pushed the content out to the headsets. Simple.
“ClassVR opens up a world of creative opportunities for students as it is compatible with a wide variety of online and offline tools” says Greg. “ClassVR gave our students the ability to very simply create virtual reality content”. See more here.
INNOVATION IN THE OUTCOME
Darren Reynolds, the Schools Engagement Manager for The Salvation Army was very impressed with the prototype, “the walkthrough of their school was so engaging. We got a great sense of the school, there were links to key information and overall it effectively demonstrated how we can use VR in our organisation.
We are always trying to take the students beyond the classroom and immersion works well; it demystifies the different services that we have to offer. In the past, immersion consisted of tours of homes and service centres such as the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Centre. However, due to privacy reasons we can’t always make this experience possible. The prototype has clearly demonstrated how this type of technology can allow students to see the bigger picture of what we do, no matter what the circumstances are”.
Darren was so impressed with the prototype, he has agreed for the students to film on site to produce a polished product for commercial use, and we can’t wait to see the final cut!
Schools often give parents mixed messages about technology integration into learning, and it comes at the detriment to schools.
Inwardly schools often promote to teachers and students, the importance of technology for learning and preparing students for their future career and study. Outwardly however, the dominant message they give to parents is that technology is dangerous for children. This message can undermine and hinder the technology based learning that is happening in the school.
Let me explain this more.
Schools often hold regular parent information nights that focus on cyber safety. Online safety is of course highly important. These talks detail to parents the potential risks for children online, and the need for parents to be vigilant in protecting their children from technology. The speakers may provide relevant information however the underlying message to parents is that technology and the internet is dangerous for children. This instils fear in parents and a lack of confidence in technology holding any real benefit for their child.
This message of danger by schools is in direct opposition to technology integration in classrooms. It hinders parents’ support for technology use in learning. This is an important deterrent for school executive and teachers as parent buy-in is needed for it to work well!
This understanding comes from my extensive research with families regarding educational technology, and in response I have developed an online program that schools can provide for their parents that takes a more balanced and empowering approach. The interactive program “TechClever’, takes an hour to complete, and focuses on helping parents to understand and manage the risks for children online, as well as helping parents to understand the key learning, social and health benefits that technology can hold for children when it’s used in quality ways. The program can replace the traditional cyber safety talk or it can supplement it.
The ‘TechClever’ program shifts beyond traditional cyber safety talks to provide parents with a healthy approach to children’s technology use at home and at school. Parents can do the program at home, and it builds understanding of what schools do with technology and why. The program is designed to enhance confidence in parents, not fear. Think of it as an excursion for your parents. To find out more go to https://www.techclever.com.au/
We’re starting to have some real conversations about the impact of screen time on students’ development. From one-to-one computing initiatives and using AI in the classroom to digital textbooks and education apps, the growth of technology in our schools represent a substantial shift in K-12 education. With this shift comes responsibility. What do we know about AI in education? Do we understand the implications that technology brings to our schools? What research is out there and what does it mean for our students?
Dr Joanne Orlando is a leading analyst and commentator in the field of children, technology, and learning. Her work focuses on the evolving nature of children’s technology use and the ever-changing implications for their learning, social relationships, identity, and well-being. A key aspect of Joanne’s research is gaining first-hand perspectives from children on why they use technology in the ways they do. What she finds out in her research is often surprising and not what adults assume or expect.
A key element of Joanne’s work is applying her analysis to a wide range of real world scenarios. Joanne works closely with leading technology companies, sharing her research and insights to assist in the development of better products and practices to ensure children’s technology use is positive.
Joanne will be sharing her research on trends on children’s uses of AI and the implications for school learning and engagement. She will focus on the uses of artificial intelligence, the advantages of their uses, the skills and knowledge students are losing and gaining, and how their increasing reliance on these new directions in technology is effecting their learning and engagement in schools.
Educators are increasingly seeing the potential in games and their ability to keep students engaged. Games encourage many of the behaviours we want to see in our students, including curiosity and persistence. And tapping into those elements of game design that provoke increased levels of concentration can be a way to stimulate student engagement.
Taking one step further beyond playing games is actually creating them, turning kids from consumers into makers. Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie has been working in this space for more than 12 years, and has seen first hand in her work how teaching kids how to make games is a powerful way for them to learn, through direct hands on experience, key transferable skills that are critical for the future. These skills include problem solving, communication, team work and even better listening skills. Game design is also an excellent entry point to getting kids, especially girls into STEM.
Dr. Kate is game designer, innovation facilitator and explainer of the future. She has spoken at top academic and industry conferences, including SXSW (Austin), NXNE (Toronto) and TEDxPerth where she also worked as a speaker coach, and has been featured on MTV, NPR and in the pages of ELLE and the Australian Financial Review. She recently completed an Australia-wide speaking tour, hosted by the Australian Computer Society, where she spoke about the importance of playfulness, compassion and diversity in preparing for the future.
During Kate’s session at The WA Education Summit, she explains why games and play are critical for preparing for the future. This talk will show how understanding and leveraging games as a culture, a mindset and as a process are critical to preparing for the future of work and education. And overall, uncover why we need playfulness now more than ever.
Like most Principals, Stephen Delfs is constantly looking at ways to maximize the ROI that he makes for his school, O’Connor Primary.
With budgets tighter than ever, the school looked at ways of raising funds to replenish their old devices. They had 200 aging iPads to replace, so rather than selling the old devices to the community, Stephen looked at ways to be able to facilitate a quicker, bulk sale. When he went to market for a new fleet of iPads, one of the questions he asked vendors was, “are we able to exchange our 3-4-year-old iPads for credit to buy new ones?”.
Solutions IT was the only vendor that replied with a ‘YES’.
Solutions IT’s Technology Buyback Program is a fast and simple process that allows schools to exchange their old and unwanted devices for credit. All devices traded in are data wiped to factory settings, with data destruction certificates available upon request. Schools are part of a global, sustainable environment program with 98% of all equipment received refurbished and re-purposed both here in Australia and in developing nations. 2% of equipment is recycled back into usable materials, keeping harmful waste out of landfill.
Via the Buyback Program, O’Connor Primary School was able to trade in 200 iPad 2s and gain $10,000 towards brand new devices. The extra revenue received, along with Solution IT’s competitive prices, allowed the school to bump up their order and purchase the desired number of iPads without compromising budgets elsewhere.
“Understanding your options is the best way to budget effectively. Solutions IT quickly gave us an understanding of what our credit looked like and we were able to plan from there” Says Stephen.
The Technology Buyback process is simple:
Create an inventory list of the equipment you would like to trade in
Our buyback specialists will review the information provided and produce a buyback indicative quote