Jude Black of Green Bay Primary prompts us to consider how technology is incorporated into our school vision.
A school-wide vision for technology teaching and spaces
I set about implementing the curriculum, we started with a curriculum review, and that showed that teachers didn’t have confidence in the new curriculum, as it was at the time. There were barriers to learning that they identified, one was that they didn’t feel adequate to teach the curriculum, but also they identified a designated space was important. And they also identified that we didn’t have equipment that they could use to implement the new curriculum. So from there we did build a designated space and we purchased a lot of equipment. The irony is that actually now that we’ve got the special room, and now that the teachers have the professional development to support that, they don’t need the room all the time. They can, and do a lot of the work back in the classroom and we have portable kits of equipment that can be rolled out to classrooms if they choose to do that.
As part of upskilling the board in the technology curriculum, when we did the technology review, the teacher that reported to the board explained to them the key elements of the new technology curriculum, in order to make the point that our staff didn’t know much about this new curriculum. Of course, we’ve got a different board since those days, so it is important to keep re-engaging the board with what the technology curriculum is and why it’s important that we keep maintaining this as an important curriculum area, and why the board should continue to support the budgets for that curriculum area, and maintain the tech room. So our board follow that quite keenly. That was one of the findings of my report, I came back from overseas realising that unless we had the support of boards, and unless parents understood the importance of the technology curriculum, and that it was a future enormously important career path for children, that parents weren't going to support their children taking technology options in their career. So I think it is really important that we get that message out there to parents and parents, of course, on the board are even more influential.
I think something that’s a really important element, that I realise from my time overseas, is that part of implementing the technology curriculum is to ensure that there is vision in the school that particularly addresses the technology curriculum and addresses why it is important. It was brought home to me recently when I was addressing a workshop and I asked the technology specialists who were in the room, “What is your school’s technology vision?” And I asked them also, “What is technology?” Everyone in the room had a different view of what technology was and no one in the room had a school that had a vision that incorporated technology into it. And so my challenge to them all was: that’s the first thing that you need to do, you need to address that, what is your school vision on technology because unless you have that how can you then begin to implement it well in your school?
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