Pakuranga College principal Michael Williams explains, “the type of learning students are doing is changing”. They are more authentic and aligned to the real world. Learning has become much more collaborative and students are more engaged.
Michael: Always the big question when you’ve gone heavily into digital and BYOD is the question of, is it making a difference? Is it better? And that’s a really challenging one for us in schools. Are we getting better NCEA results? I don’t think I could say, yes, by using devices I’m getting better NCEA results. What we are seeing though, is the type of learning students are doing is changing. We are seeing the learning being and the activities more authentic, more aligned to what you’d see out in the real world. Everyone has the knowledge, you get it off Google, there’s the diagram, there’s the answers to the question, it’s about what did that mean? How do you understand that? How do you apply that? So that’s where we need to change what’s happening.
For the students to do that, it fundamentally changes some of the relationships, it’s not going from teacher to student all the time, the understanding is a collaborative process so we’ve got to have students working with each other, students working with people in the cloud, online somewhere, outside the classroom. It means the students are much more engaged in it. For our approach is it’s all about outcomes, we tell them where we want to get to, how they get there is their process and they have this agency to control their learning. So when they leave the school, move out into university or tertiary education or employment, they’re actively involved, lifelong learners.
Billy: What we’ve also seen now is that the empowerment so that what we like about having the one-to-one device, is the personalised experience that each child can have. Everyone’s learning looks very different. The individual can co-construct their learning with their teacher and say, “I would like to go down this pathway and create this outcome,” and for us that’s just magical. With the device now, we can genuinely offer every single student a genuine, personalised pathway to their outcomes.