From the Principal’s Desk – 11 May, 2017

Dear Parents,

This week, members of the Senior Management Team (SMT) and I, attended an Apple training course relating to the Strategic Planning of Information Technology for schools. It was an interesting couple of hours and provided much food for thought on how schools are using and getting the best possible outcomes for (properly) implementing and integrating the use of technology to enhance and support the delivery of the curriculum.

No matter how we slice it, the world that our children will be (and are) part of, is immersed in technology, and the likelihood of them having to use apps and programmes as a means with which to go about their careers in the future is very real.

In developing our Strategic Plan, it is important that we as a school not only meet these needs but find ways in which to ensure that technology enhances what is taught and facilitates the development of the necessary skills for the 21st century student. This is the challenge – to ensure that we are not left behind when preparing our students for the wider world.

It was encouraging to note that as a school we are not alone in a variety of areas – the current IT infrastructure of a campus, deciding which devices are used, encouraging nervous staff members who may see themselves as technologically illiterate and creating an environment that makes teaching and learning so much more relevant and fun are some of the big questions that schools need to answer before embarking on such a programme.

Our next step will be to start creating our Strategic Plan based on the 8 elements for creating a successful learning environment which was shared with us at the conference. These include:

  • VISION – Articulate the “why” for your learning initiative
  • TEAM – assemble a leadership team that will own, plan and implement your learning initiative
  • COMMUNITY – Engage your community so stakeholders understand and support your vision
  • MEASUREMENT – Establish ways to measure your progress against clear goals
  • STUDENT LEARNING – Explore and understand new tools and materials to enhance student learning
  • PROFESSIONAL LEARNING – Model and support a culture of ongoing professional learning
  • ENVIRONMENT DESIGN – Design your infrastructure, management strategies, work flow solutions, and physical environment to support learning
  • FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY – Identify the expected costs and possible savings over time to ensure long-term sustainability of the initiative

I have to say that I am blown away at the possibilities that exist in education (and the classroom) when technology is used responsibly and effectively. There is much work ahead, I know that it is both exciting and scary when considering which direction our school will be taking over the next couple of years. However, like all things, when one has to decide on a path to embark on, you have to do your homework and be sure that it is the right decision for all concerned.

Kind regards,

Grant Ruskovich