Technology is a good creational gift from God. Digital technology brings many benefits individually, and as a wider community of believers. Education is not isolated from these benefits.
New opportunities, experiences, and pedagogies can be developed to improve the understanding and learning of our students.
What we believe about technology
- The good gift of digital technology has been tainted by the fall of man. Our role as disciples of Christ is to engage with technology in such a way that restores it to the Lordship of Christ.
- Technology can add to the difficulty of raising children in the 21st century. We endeavour to engage with technology in such a way that assists the parents whom we serve.
- The education that we provide must engage culturally with the world in which we live. That cultural engagement ought to demonstrate an awareness of the great benefits, but also inherent risks involved with digital technology.
- Digital technology provides significant educational opportunities and experiences that might otherwise be unavailable. We should investigate and take advantage of these in the framework of continually improving pedagogy
The Why of Technology
ICT Capability is one of the ‘General Capabilities’ mandated by the new Australian Curriculum. Other capabilities include Literacy, Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Ethical understanding, and Intercultural understanding. Each of these capabilities are to be integrated into existing curriculum, with emphasis given to providing an authentic context for learning.
There is a significant body of research that supports the use of personal, digital learning devices in the classroom. The Horizon Report investigates three areas of the adoption of technology in education. They include: Key Trends, Significant Challenges, and Important Developments.
One of the key trends that is identified in the report is a shift towards deeper learning approaches that involves “the delivery of rich core content to students in innovative ways that allow them to learn and then apply what they have learned… As technologies such as tablets and smartphones are more readily accepted in schools, educators are leveraging these tools, which students already use, to connect the curriculum with real life applications. These active learning approaches are decidedly more student-centered, allowing learners to take control of how they engage with a subject…” (p.8) These innovative practices generally place a greater emphasis on those skills commonly referred to as “21st Century skills” such as problem solving.
Sharples, in Computers and Education (2000) suggests the following are important characteristics in tools designed to enable and encourage lifelong learning in students:
- Highly portable
- Available anywhere
Sharples concludes that:
“New technology offers the opportunity for children and adults to communicate with teachers and fellow learners around the world, to interact with rich learning resources and simulated environments, to call on information and knowledge when needed to solve problems and satisfy curiosity, and to create `personal learning narratives' through an extended process of capturing and organising situated activity.” Sharples, Computers and Education (2000) p192