Online Teaching and Learning at St Patrick’s College
March 20, 2020
By Mr Ian Fernée 1:1 eLearning Coordinator
This afternoon I walked past a Year 7 maths class. The boys were learning their equations and formulas with the guidance of their teacher, but the classroom experience was probably not a familiar for many. On the desk the students had their laptop, digital pen and OneNote software open as they explored the logic of the day’s problems. The teacher was able to share worksheets digitally with students and immediately review the solutions boys were providing on her laptop. In talking to the boys, they had picked up the new technology skills extremely quickly, almost as if they were second nature to them. They were also happy for the feedback they were receiving, and it was amazing to see that the teacher was doing all this from her laptop at the other side of the room.
St Patrick’s College is full of different examples where students are using technology to learn, grow and create in their lessons, and where teachers are refining their craft for a digital age of education. Many of the students are probably unaware of the time, effort and planning their teachers complete to provide them with rich learning experiences which also help to develop digital skills they will use for the rest of their life.
The COVID-19 virus has affected the world in many ways. Schools and educational institutions around the world are putting in enormous efforts to ensure that learning is not interrupted by this global pandemic and that the continuity of their education is maintained in case remote learning needs to be invoked.
St Patrick’s College is no different here with the teaching staff and ICT staff working tirelessly to establish solutions to meet the needs of the boys in this unprecedented situation.
Due to the long investment in learning with ICT and a College wide 1:1 learning programme, St Patrick’s College has many established online systems and processes for student learning across both iPad and Laptop hardware.
These include but are not limited to such things as SIMON/PAM, Office 365, Google Classroom, ClickView, Education Perfect, Edrolo and App4.
In the event of a College closure teachers, students and parents will continue to make use of these online platforms.
To maintain the continuity of learning whilst undertaking remote instruction there are a number of things to consider and plan for. We are seeking the support and cooperation of students and parents in this to ensure that your son is prepared for what they may be required to do.
- Device Handbook and Responsible ICT Usage:
- Students should continue to observe the information provided in the College’s device handbook available on the College website at https://www.stpats.vic.edu.au/students-parents-staff/curriculum/ipads-and-notebooks/
- Observing Remote Learning Protocols:
- Students will be provided with a set of remote learning protocols to observe when participating in any online collaborative environment. This may include, but is not limited to, online video classes, forums, blogs and other collaborative spaces. These will be available shortly on the iPads and notebook page.
- Device Connectivity and resource access
- Parents and students should review their home Internet connectivity and plans as it should be anticipated that online learning will increase demand on your home Internet services. In providing continuity of learning students can consult with their teacher to access resources via other technology where possible.
- The College has several formal electronic communication methods such as email and Microsoft Teams. Students should continue to access and utilise these resources for communication in accordance with the established protocols.
- Student Training
- Over the coming days, students and staff will be practising the use of online learning platforms in class to familiarise them with the use of technology available. Over time students will also be able to access online training in the use of software and services that are available for learning. Teachers will also be mindful of this when conducting any online lesson and will assist students where possible.
- Software and Resources
- A number of software and resources are available for download and access online but some software is only available for download through Software Centre at school. Students are to consult with their teacher to ensure that they have all required software installed on their device. Students on iPads should install all applications that are required via the Intune Portal and pushed out to their device via this and the Apple App Store. Students can also seek assistance with any software related issues by visiting or contacting the ICT Helpdesk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Support and assistance in a remote learning environment
- In the event of ICT issues there will be some limited support that can be provided to students remotely. The process of requesting this will be outlined and available on the colleges iPad and Notebook website. It will however be important that students are proactive with the maintenance and care of their device in a remote learning environment with limited ICT support.
To maintain the continuity of learning St Patrick’s College, is investing in collaborative technology to assist students in their learning. Microsoft Teams has been set up to connect students with their class and teacher to undertake remote learning opportunities. This is relatively new technology for the College and utilising its functionality will take time to develop and master for students and teachers. Students will undertake training with their teachers in the use of this software to maximise teaching and learning opportunities over the coming lessons.
I would like to thank all students, staff, teachers and parents in the planning and organising for any remote learning requirements that may be required.