Home' Teacher : March 2011 Contents 14 TEACHER MARCH 2011
provides all maths students with access to a
fully functioning graphics calculator.
Recognition by Microsoft has given Var-
sity College the opportunity to work with
like-minded educators from around the
globe to form collaborative partnerships
focusing on improving teaching for the
future. Varsity College's replicable approach
has prompted the school to act as a change
agent, to help other schools around the
world by showcasing the tools and resources
that they can use to for sustainable educa-
Taroona High School
Committed to being a leading centre of inno-
vation, creativity and excellence in teach-
ing and learning, Taroona High School in
Hoba rt's southern suburbs consistently aims
to ensure every student's mind is stretched
and that they succeed without exception.
This mentality of positive encouragement
has spilled into the school's ICT program,
and Taroona's use of technology has acted
as both a catalyst and vehicle for the innova-
tion recognised under Microsoft's Innova-
tive Schools program.
Taroona's world- class 'Bring your own
device for learning' program is used to facil-
itate the use of personally owned devices
in classrooms and is also building teacher
pedagogy to support the generic teaching
of skills. Taroona is working to develop
a learning management system to pro-
vide 24/7 connection to school operations
including longitudinal assessment data on
Says Taroona High Principal David
Hamlett, 'While in South Africa at the
Worldwide Innovative Education Forum, I
was always enthused by the possibilities of
moving from school improvement to school
transformation. Taroona has already begun
this journey and we hope the entire state
of Tasmania will join us. We hope to use
our involvement in Microsoft's Innovative
Schools program and our work with other
schools as support to reach our vision and
provide more opportunities to achieve best
practice in teaching.'
Microsoft Pathfinder Schools are those that
have demonstrated a strong vision for how
they would like to transform their learn-
ing environment and are enthusiastic about
collaborating with other educators from
around the world.
Below, we profile three of them.
Newton Moore Senior High School
Newton Moore Senior High School in
Bunbury, Western Australia, has a firm
commitment to offering innovative teach-
ing and learning programs that reflect a
digital age and allow learning experiences
to be relevant, diverse, hands-on, innovative
and closely integrated with technologies. In
2010 the school was selected as a Pathfinder
School by Microsoft.
Crucial to the school's selection were the
many exciting and vibrant learning oppor-
tunities available at Newton Moore. They
include offerings such as wetland studies,
marine studies, robotics, engineering, elec-
tronics, conser vation and land management
cadetships as well as many specialised ini-
tiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander students. These programs all have
an emphasis on open-ended investigations
based on research methodologies and use
highly integrated ICT.
At Newton Moore there's a powerful focus
on making students part of a global com-
munity and on developing links with other
students across the world. Students work col-
laboratively with other young people across
the globe in real time using a variety of net-
working technologies such as LiveMeeting.
The school's clear communication plat-
form includes a school-based intranet that
provides easy access to teaching and learning
materials. The intranet also links teachers to
best-practice ideas and teaching resources,
and provides them with information about
individual student performance so that they
can address individual student needs.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College
Bendigo Senior Secondary College in Vic-
toria aims to provide an adult learning
environment where a sound work ethic,
self-discipline and the acquisition of inde-
pendent learning skills are fostered, consist-
ent with the college's vision of its role 'to
empower learners for individual, commu-
nity and global leadership, which is under-
pinned by the values of respect, optimism,
learning and environment.'
Bendigo was selected as a Pathfinder
School because of its history of innovation.
The school was one of the founding mem-
bers of the Navigator Schools project which
influenced teaching practice across the state,
nationally and internationally.
In the classroom, ICT is used to promote
deeper levels of thinking, rather than just
focusing on technology as a tool. Many
subjects now routinely use wikis, blogs
and social networks through Ning in their
curriculum. Students are encouraged to
think about concepts and create constructs
through collaboration. Flip cameras are
now being widely used across the college,
providing students with the opportunity to
create and tell their story.
Students are also using ICT to create pres-
entations using Photo Story, Movie Maker,
MP3 recordings and interactive games.
They're using Audacity open-source software
and Blip TV for self reflection and peer reflec-
tion in subjects such as music and languages
other than English. Teachers have utilised
ICT to create audio files for new students
which are translated into their first language.
The development of Bendigo Senior
Secondary's new language centre will see
the school using high- end video conferenc-
ing and interactive whiteboards to deliver
language learning to other schools.
Bendigo's participation at the Worldwide
Innovative Education Forum has enabled
the school to set up collaborative partner-
ships with overseas schools and enrich the
curriculum through international links that
provide access to high-quality educational
practitioners and current research.
Pa rkhurst State School
'Learning is our work' is the motto that
embodies the innovative and collabora-
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