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Noelene Callaghan

My Blog

My Blog

The making of a Microsoft Showcase School

Posted on 13 October, 2019 at 3:00

5 brand new NSW Department of Education schools are selected and recognised for excellence in technological pedagogy transformation and named as Microsoft Showcase Schools.

Microsoft Education Australia and the Foundations.T4L team have partnered together to identify and work with five of the newest New South Wales’ newest Department of Education schools who deliver outstanding technological pedagogy in its schools.

We’re excited to announce Bardia Public School, Bella Vista Public School, Finigan School of Distance Education, North Kellyville Public School and Yandelora School as the newest schools to be added to the exclusive list of Australian Microsoft Showcase Schools.

In the short time that these schools have been operational, they have established strong digital curriculum ecosystems. They’ve adopted either a Microsoft tool such as SharePoint or Microsoft Teams as their digital platform and have built their administrative functions and teaching pedagogies using OneNote, Office 365 and more. Moreover, with the support of the Foundations.T4L team, they have succesfully implemented 1:1 device programs through the 21 steps of technology transformation model.

Each school began planning their ICT learning trajectory prior to the school opening. This continued well into 2019. The staff at each school have attended ongoing professional learning to enhance their digital literacy and ensure that consistency, understanding and implementation approaches meets the overall strategic vision of the school. Such professional learning sessions have been facilitated by the Foundations.T4L Digital Classroom Officers and Microsoft Education.

All five schools have employed 21st Century Learning Design into their whole-school teacher programming practice. This permits successful learning activity design that utilise the 21st CLD dimensions of Collaboration, Knowledge Construction, Real-World Problem Solving, Self-Regulation, Real-World Innovation and ICT for Learning.

Principals, Deputy and Assistant Principals participated a Design Deploy and Transform workshop by Microsoft Educations’ Travis Smith, that further supported the envisioning, planning, implementing, evaluation and expanding 1:1 learning in their school. This workshop reinforced that the most successful 1:1 initiatives are concerned with learning, not laptops. Such initiatives create infinitely better opportunities and experiences for students and a more efficient, effective and rewarding experience for teachers and staff. It also reinforced the need to future proof the school by creating sustainable practices so that innovative learning spaces, technologies, leadership and teaching practices as well as curriculum and assessment always remain relevant and applicable to the students’ individual needs.

Teaching staff actively participate in professional learning that covers a range of the technologies available to them through Windows 10 and the Office 365 platform. Led by Megan Townes and the Foundations.T4L Digital Classroom Officers, this PL provides opportunities for staff to showcase their teaching activities and how they have supported student learning and creativity, as well as how they have increased their own productivity. Specific Microsoft tools such as Immersive Reader and digital stylus devices to improve student learning outcome and accessibility tools (to improve reading comprehension and writing) are also examined.

Foundations.T4L’s Digital Classroom Officers work closely with the staff at each of these five schools. They have carefully produced a specialised professional learning plan for each school that aligns with their school vision, culture, technological capacity and overall goals. The Digital Classroom Officers also work side by side with teachers and their students to enrich a positive learning experience where students attain enhanced education outcomes by integrating Microsoft technology into their learning. Students at these schools use Teams and/or OneNote as their key learning platform. Students from K-12 have incorporated these tools to produce evidence of learning, collaboration activities and self-reflection tasks which are at the basis of 21st century learning.

As these new-build schools grow collectively from 1,800 to 4,050 enrolled students over the next few years, our newest schools will continue to create transformational change in authentic learning spaces by empowering students to develop their skills to navigate our emerging, digital, virtual, augmented and mixed-reality worlds.

Categories: 2019, New School, Microsoft