Robyn Posthumus, principal of Ruawai Primary School, explains how they used Google Apps as a tool to realise their vision for students – to develop digital literacies, creative thinking, and communication skills in a collaborative environment.
Hi, I’m Rob Posthumus, Principal of Ruawai Primary School located in the Kaipara, in the middle of Northland. We’re 47% Maori and 53% European. Last year I applied for professional development in the e-learning and we decided that our main goal was going to be getting everyone up and running on Google docs.
Because part of our vision and mission was that we wanted our children to have digital literacies, and the inventive thinking, be collaborative, and be good communicators. Yeah I think we went from just basically using the computers for the odd bit of research here and there, to now something that is a very collaborative environment. The children are much more engaged, really excited about their learning.
We recently did a survey right through the school with all of the students, from new entrant right through to Year 6, and found out what makes learning exciting for them at our school.
I like blogging and like sharing my stuff with other people.
When you see everyone else’s one you think, you kind of think, like wow they’ve done really good too.
I like getting other comments from people because it gives you a lot of ideas.
Sharing’s fun because then friends and people can join you and help you with your work.
When we go on our class blogs and we have to write quick writes, you have to jump into the picture and you have to write, if you were that person, how would you feel and what would you wonder. And then we had to publish it, and you could see other peoples’ stories. And then after that we had to go in a group and read it out, like everyone’s stories. On the blog you can share comments, and Miss P always shares comments about all the kids on their quick writes.
The use of the digital technologies and the online learning, that was what was really exciting and enjoyable for them.