Somerset Times

Technologies in the Senior School Classroom




Somerset Times Edition

Week 2,
Term Three, 2016

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In days gone by, the extent of Information Technology in the classroom was a calculator in Mathematics, and learning about word processing in ICT classes. Enter 2016, where Information Technologies are no longer a novelty, but rather a staple of daily life.

In 2016, statistics quite unbelievably suggest that the average person spends 4.7 hours a day on their phone and 40 minutes per day on Facebook. Within education, the use of Information Technologies has also increased, although the applications used can be quite varied.

2016 - T3 - W2 - TECHNOLOGIES

In the Mathematics classroom, many students will be familiar with using applications such as Maths Online to practise mathematical skills relevant to their level, whether it be basic numeracy or extension work beyond their classroom curriculum. Software such as Mathematica and Graphmetica are powerful tools to drive complex mathematical solutions, and to understand difficult mathematical concepts. In the Language classroom, applications such as Language Perfect to allow students to continually revise foreign vocabulary, It’s almost gamification approach to learning a foreign language with scores and ratings, encourages students and rewards success.

In the Science classroom, we utilise simulations for understanding concepts that may be too costly or dangerous for physical experimentation. With nuclear fission reactors frowned upon in classrooms, and budgets not extending to $13.25 billion dollars for our own large hadron collider, it is only through the use of technology that we can get close to allowing students to understand aspects of the Sciences such as this. The use of technologies in this way allows for a more personal understanding of the concept than could ever be gained from diagrams, videos or the textbook.

Through our use of Schoolbox students can stay organised and up to date with their learning. Students are able to access learning resources and activities if they miss attending a class. No longer should they have to chase up a friend or their teacher on returning to school. Forgetting an assessment item due date is also becoming a thing of the past, as Schoolbox’s “due work” function syncs with the student’s calendar, and provides a digital reminder of what is due and when.

The ability for student’s to collaborate with each other in a safe and controlled environment is also a feature that is being used in some classes. The social stream function allows for real time conversations between students under teacher observation. This is just the tip of the iceberg of ways Schoolbox is being used in the classroom for teaching and learning and it is this flexibility in one place which is appreciated by teachers and students.

Information Technologies in education have certainly come a long way and gone are the days of being relegated to a basement room with a class set of computers.

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