Last year, when I started teaching at Iona Primary School, a girls school in Mosman Park, Western Australia, I endeavoured to empower my students to actively create, communicate, problem solve, and collaborate with ICT and digital technologies. Yet, as the ICT specialist in an isolated computer lab, I struggled to encourage my colleagues’ development of innovative, ICT rich pedagogies and projects within their own classrooms.
At the start of the 2015 school year, I was appointed to a new ICT coaching role, working alongside K-6 teachers, and their students to develop, model, and collaboratively teach high quality ICT and digital technologies projects. The primary goals of our coaching program were to build teachers’ confidence and SAMR informed pedagogical skills in ICT integration; to lay the foundations for the introduction of the new Digital Technologies curriculum; and empower our students to share their learning with the world through our public whole-school classroom blogging program (blogs.ionaps.com).
As my first year of coaching draws to a close, I am proud of what we have achieved, despite the significant technical and change management challenges we’ve faced.
I’ve seen teachers overcome their fear of technology, becoming thriving learners and emerging ICT leaders in their own right.
Our iPads are no longer gathering dust in the storage cart; they are in PP-3 classrooms, being used to create Adobe Voice online safety presentations, iMovies on ‘Teaching Time’, Puppet Pal animations, PicCollages, and Book Creator eBooks.
In our 1:1 MacBook program (Years 4-6), students are planning and producing high-quality movies and podcasts which respect copyright, rather than jumping in front of their webcams and making it up on the fly. In some classes, students have been exploring how to create games and retell stories in Scratch; and we are just starting to set up our new makerspace, where we will explore the possibilities of STEAM with MakeyMakeys, LittleBits, Beebots, Spheros, and hopefully LEGO Mindstorms EV3. These projects are shared through our blogs, and our school social media channels using the #ionapsict Twitter hashtag.
The #ionapsict coaching program has already had a profound, transformative impact on the teaching and learning within our school community. We have a long road ahead, but we are proud to celebrate and share our journey and learning process with the world beyond our school walls.