Abbotsford Public School

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Information technology

Information and computer technology at Abbotsford Public school

So to allign with the 21st Century, Abbotsford Public School has been investing in new technologies, with particular focus on mobile technology. This has included the purchase of class iPads, wherein teachers are able to embed the use of this technology at any time, during any lesson. It has also been possible, thanks to the excellent support efforts of the P&C, to purchase student iPads, for use with classrooms, where more than one is necessary.

As of the end of January, 2016, our school has more than 60 iPads, which teachers can use in their classroom, to augment their lessons, and use current technologies with students. On top of the iPads, we have been focussing on purchasing laptops; both through school funds, and the ET4L rollout program. We have been able to increase our school laptop number from 14, in 2013, to over 70 as of the end of 2015. This has made using the laptops within class a lot easier, and ensure more students are able to access the technology - though we hope to continue the fantastic trend, and provide more access.

Computer lab 

As people may be aware, the increase in the number of classrooms created the need to dismantle the computer lab in 2014. There are several benefits to this, particularly that we were able to then change some of the old classroom computers with the more powerful lab computers.

Technology in the classroom

Most classrooms come standard with a 2Touch Interactive Whiteboard, which allows teachers and students to write on the easy to clean porcelain board, whilst also providing interactivity with the computer. Each IWB is connected to a Windows 7 ready computer, which means teachers are able to use their computers for enhanced learning, wherein software works seemlessly (though we are still upgrading some rooms, but hope to complete that soon).

Some other school upgrades regarding technology include the purchasing of new cameras, so that school activities can be photographed, and show with brilliant clarity, the going-ons of Abbotsford Public School. We also retain the video conferencing equipment, of the old computer lab, and look forward to reintroducing this at various times.

Upgrades to teacher computers

Fortunately with the most recent rollover, our School was able to push all our allocated points towards new Desktop computers for teachers, with which to run the IWBs. As you may know, it takes a little more power to run a projector, than a regular monitor, and as such the older Desktops struggled, and made the computers slow to use - at the time, the standard RAM for all desktops was 2gb (which in computing terms isn't great, and can make working quite frustrating). In 2016, most teacher computers have been upgraded to a more powerful machine, which comes with plenty of HDD space, 8gb of RAM, and a dedicated graphics card, so to run the projector - this should help to future proof the teaching computers, to a degree.

Method of teaching ICT at Abbotsford Public School

Regarding Information and Communications Technology (ICT) lessons, and their format from 2015, it was decided, that so to allign with the new curriculum, and to provide more access to ICT all the time, specific ICT lessons with the ICT specialist were halted. It is believed, and the aim of the new Australian Curriculum, that ICT be embedded within classroom lessons, on a regular basis, and not just once a week. Teachers of course were already integrating ICT into their lessons as much as possible, however as the devices used to follow the ICT Coordinator, it made using the devices difficult - from 2015, teachers have devices in their room, all the time. For our school, this has meant that each teacher will aim to incorporate various elements of ICT into their lessons; be that Literacy, Numeracy, HSIE, or any other KLA. This is a very positive move, as it frees up laptops and iPads, so that teachers can use them in their lessons when they are needed, and not just as an add-on.

Type of ICT that is taught

The school focuses on effectively integrating computer based technologies throughout all Key Learning Areas. All computer activities support the development of syllabus outcomes and are designed to incorporate all curriculum areas throughout the course of the year. They also allow students to gain important skills in the general use of computers to better equip them in their future years. All computers in the school have access to the Internet, which is used for research and Email.

The students use a wide range of programs for Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Databases, Graphics, Multimedia, Internet, Email and Web Design.

ICT specialist

The role of the ICT specialist, currently Elliot Moule, has had to change so to keep up with these advancements. Previously Mr Moule would join each class, once per fornight, for a focussed technology lesson, where the classroom teacher would lead, and he support, however the schools number is now too great for him to physically be at each location, for a significant amount of time, so his role has changed for this reason too. As of 2015, the ICT specialist works in a support and service role, so to support all staff (classroom teachers/ administration/ specialist teachers/ support staff) in all areas of technology. This means that classroom and school technology can be maintained to a higher standard, and allow for problems and issues to be fixed sooner, so that learning and school activities can swiftly continue. This has meant that Mr Moule's classroom presence will decrease, however will also allow him to up-skill other teachers in technology, so that they may bring new ideas and learning to their individual classrooms.

The reason change is needed 

These many changes have affected various areas of the school - right down to how the school is run - however they are all necessary, and to have not changed things, would have been detrimental to students and staff at Abbotsford. The upgrades in the schools technology, has meant that each classroom is much more ready for the learning of today. The need for preparation for student 'computer and digital literacy' has already passed - right now, we live in a world where each student will be required to know how to operate a computing device of some design; not only for work purposes, but for social life as well. We cannot know what technologies are yet to come, and it is because of this, that we need to provide opportunity for students to learn with relevant equipment, so that they are not only literate with digital technologies, but adaptive.

Changes to the teaching of ICT, provide opportunities for all staff to learn more about technology, which will only positively affect student outcomes. Teachers will become more familiar with technologies they can bring into the classroom, and learn to troubleshoot for themselves, so that lesson interuptions are fewer. It also means that interuptions are temporary, as the specialist is available to help.

We look forward to all the changes, and hope that the parents and community can too.