Rationale

Video produced by Apple Distinguished Educators as part of their iPad In Australia - Transforming Learning project

Our goal is to empower our students to fulfill God's purpose for their lives. We want to enable them so that they can change the world. We help them to discover their talents. We teach them to develop and use those talents. We enable them to take a place in our society. We equip them with the attitudes and skills to be leaders in their fields and to honor God in both what they do and the way they do it. We teach them to think and to know and understand God and the gospel.

Improving Teaching and Learning

In order to achieve this goal, the College attempts to use facilities that provide more diverse, deeply engaging learning opportunities matched to each student's needs.  In recent years, particularly through the use of iPads, we have found that ICT-enabled teaching and learning allow for more active engagement in learning.  Activities and styles of engagement previously impossible or difficult to achieve are now readily attainable.  New learning opportunities are being discovered.

For example, iPads allow:

•    the use of specific apps to support specific needs

•    self-paced and/or self-directed learning

•    engagement in learning a more diverse range of places

•    a wider range of ways to demonstrate learning.

Refer to the Our Journey menu for examples of iPads in learning.

Preparing For The Future

In preparing our students for their futures, it is important that we need to acknowledge a number of factors.  Firstly, according to Professor Linda Darling-Hammond [i], knowledge workers will soon represent 70% of first-world economies.  Schools are preparing students for jobs that do not exist, hence there is a need to focus on deep abilities -- the so-called 21st century skills: including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication [ii] [iii].

Secondly, the volume of information and its availability is rapidly increasing.  Google estimated that every two days in 2010 as much information was created on the internet as was generated in an entire year in 2003 [iv].  In the same year, the number of devices that were accessing the internet was the same as Earth’s total population. By 2015, it is estimated that there will be the equivalent of two devices per person [v]!  For this reason, it is important to equip our students to thrive in an information-rich world.

Proliferation of Information

Thirdly, highly mobile, personal ICT devices, like iPads, are becoming increasingly common tools in work and life. The wealth of information available online is already embedded in everyday life.  Consequently, we believe that by allowing our students to use a personal technology as part of their learning while as school, we have the opportunity to teach students the skills and attitudes of a life-long learner.

Broader Educational Context

The Australian Curriculum emphasises the significant differences inherent in learning in the 21st century [vi]. The whole curriculum is built around the development of a set of general capabilities: literacy, numeracy, ICT competence, creative and critical thinking, ethical behaviour, personal and social competence, and intercultural understanding. Together, these capabilities are important to individuals living in a world where technology allows for learning to occur 'anywhere, anytime'.

Educational research about the influences of 1-to-1 ICT provision in learning suggests that it improves student engagement [vii] and creates an environment more conducive to effective innovation in pedagogy (teaching and learning) [viii]. A recent study indicates that in an all-digital learning context, 'iPad promotes both efficient use of time and more learning moments' [ix]. Importantly, research suggests that it is better to view ICT not as a technological tool but rather as a cognitive tool [x] [xi].

Conclusion

Our purpose for asking students to bring their own iPad is to provide additional ways to support development of their God-given gifts and talents via deeply engaged learning that simultaneously promotes strengths, helps to improve areas of weaknesses, and facilitates opportunities to discover new or latent talents.

It should be noted that while ICT facilitated learning will be a significant focus at Redlands College, support for the emotional, physical, social and spiritual growth of our students remains important in our community.

Chris Blundell, Academic Dean


 

References

[i] Darling-Hammond, L. 2011. Teacher Knowledge and Student Learning: Making The Connection. QSA Conference: Vision to Reality.

[ii] The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - http://p21.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=254&Itemid=119 (accessed 7/10/10).

[iii] Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (Eds.). 2001. A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives: Complete edition. New York : Longman. http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Bloom's_Taxonomy (Accessed 6/10/10)

[iv] Siegler, M.G. 2010. ‘Eric Schmidt: Every 2 Days We Create As Much Information As We Did Up To 2003.’ TechCrunch. http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/04/schmidt-data/ (accessed 38/8/12).

[v] Cisco. 2012. Cisco Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) Solution - Delivering on the future of the Internet. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/iosswrel/ps6537/ps6553/white_paper_c11-558744-00.html (Accessed 28/8/12).

[vi] ACARA. 2012. Australian Curriculum General Capabilities. http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/GeneralCapabilities/Overview/General-capabilities-in-the-Australian-Curriculum (accessed 28/8/12).

[vii] Bebell, D & O'Dwyer, L.M. 2010. 'Educational Outcomes and Research from 1:1 Computing Settings' in The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment. Vol 9, No 1. (WWW document) http://escholarship.bc.edu/jtla/vol9/1/ (accessed 6/10/10).

[vii] Weston, M.E. & Bain, A. 2010. 'The End of Techno-Critique: The Naked Truth about 1:1 Laptop Initiatives and Educational Change' in The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment. Vol 9, No 6. (WWW document) http://escholarship.bc.edu/jtla/vol9/6/ (accessed 6/10/10).

[ix] Abilene Christian University 2011 'ACU Research Sheds Light on Mobility in Teaching, Learning' (WWW document) http://www.acu.edu/news/2011/110919-mobility-research.html (access 23/9/11).

[x] Weston, M.E. & Bain, A. 2010. "The End of Techno-Critique: The Naked Truth about 1:1 Laptop Initiatives and Educational Change' in The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment. Vol 9, No 6. (WWW document) http://escholarship.bc.edu/jtla/vol9/6/ (accessed 6/10/10).

[xi] Bebell, D & O'Dwyer, L.M. 2010. 'Educational Outcomes and Research from 1:1 Computing Settings' in The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment. Vol 9, No 1. (WWW document) http://escholarship.bc.edu/jtla/vol9/1/ (accessed 6/10/10).