Halswell School has been rebuilt after the Christchurch earthquake. ICT leader, Fraser Malin describes how staff at Halswell School planned the infrastructure and incorporated technologies into their design for an innovative learning environment to support learning and teaching.
Here at Halswell School, we were a new build so we had to look at the floor plans and see how we could operate our learning programmes. We looked at how could work together in that space, the teachers that work in the space with their teacher groups and we looked at how we could sort of incorporate technology into the programmes. As part of the staff meeting, we got together in our learning teams and we started to throw some ideas about how we could operate some programmes and my viewpoint was, okay as a person in charge of ICT, how can ICT support those programmes? So my role was to listen to each of the learning teams and to think about how could we have a consistent infrastructure within each of the learning teams, but also give the flexibility that they could still have their learning programmes to operate effectively? We wanted to really make sure that it was going to meet the needs of our children, meet the needs of our staff, but also to make sure that it actually supports the learning. So what we did is we looked at the facilities that were around at other schools. We tried to gain some insight into what was successful at their schools and also listen to the staff members and their recommendations for what we could also have in part of ours. Once we had a good look at those schools, we then looked at a graduate profile that was going to be encompassing for a whole school. Once again, my role as ICT was also to think, okay, within that graduate profile, what can we do within ICT to support it? That led to an ICT graduate profile and it really led to us to think about why are we using technology? We don’t just want to implement it just for the sake of it so we had a really robust discussion with each of the learning teams. So why are we blogging? Why are we using Google Apps for Education? Why are we wanting to use social media? We linked it back to the graduate profile and after a continual reflection we’ve come up with an addition that we’re really happy with. Any staff member that we have come into our school, it gives them an insight of okay, so what do we do within ICT at Halswell School? It’s really good. We’ve also shared it with a few of our students as well and they’ve said well why can’t we use Minecraft? And I’ve said well yes you can, if it’s to support your learning and to demonstrate your knowledge then hey, that’s fine.