The core business of e-Learning at MacRob is concerned with educating future generations to be fully participating citizens in a digitally networked world. In order to achieve this, in consultation with staff and students, the e-Learning Committee developed the following vision statement:
"The learning community at Mac.Rob embraces the use of ICT for learning both in and out of the classroom. The e-Learning Committee's goal is to foster the seamless integration of ICT into the everyday teaching and learning environment of the school. It will empower staff and students with the skills and knowledge to use ICT in flexible, responsive and innovative ways."
As a school we continue to focus on the use of digital technologies to enhance the teaching and learning environment for teachers and students. This involves the development and use of 'virtual' or 'flexible' learning environments, which extend the classroom experience beyond the physical space of school. As a school community we understand that most of our students have long normalised the use of digital technologies in their everyday lives. We are also aware that learning at universities is increasingly transitioning into online and virtual environments.
As a significant step to achieving our e-Learning vision and preparing our students to be lifelong digital learners, we have successfully run a number of 'online learning days' over the past few years. On these days students stay at while and interact with their teachers virtually, through the range of Google Education apps that we have. These days are held either synchronously (in real-time) or asynchronously (students are given a few days to complete set tasks). The online learning days occur in March (coincides with the closure of the school due to the Grand Prix), July and November.
Our aim is for every student to have a personal device that they bring to school every day. Our 'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) program is integral to achieving this aim and is an important component of the teaching and learning environment of the school. The majority of our student management and learning management occurs online. For student management, which includes timetabling, attendance and events we use an online platform called Compass. The majority of learning takes place through the use of Google Apps for Education.
Many of our students come from schools that have laptop or tablet programs and we highly recommend that they bring these devices to Mac.Rob.Our hardware recommendations are as follows:
- Has a battery that would last a full school day
- Is able to access Google Apps for Education and Compass
- Is ergonomic (e.g. is portable and sturdy, ergonomic to use over a period of time.)
- Has an external keyboard
Our school wide BYOD program, as well as the online learning days, have contributed to the continuation of Mac.Rob's focus on teaching and learning in technologically and digitally rich environments.