Journey of Change

21 May 2020, 3:30PM

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As the current learning at home period draws to a close, we would firstly like to thank parents and students for their positive feedback over this time, and for your patience while we responded to individual technical issues remotely. 

Overall, the experience of remote learning has gone very smoothly, and this is no accident.  Far from being a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, our rapid response was made possible by a journey we began all the way back in 2012 and took us through a series of changes that allowed much of what we needed to be ready for a situation we never dreamed we would face.  With that in mind, we would like to give you a peek behind the curtain and briefly detail some of the work that makes up this journey. 

  • In 2012, we developed the 1:1 Computing Program which was rolled out between 2013 and 2016.  This was never about computers alone, rather part of a long-term plan to enable true 21st Century learning. 
  • In 2016, we replaced our system that handles student, parent and staff records.  A dry topic indeed, but this system (called Synergetic) that allowed parents access to their financial information, past student reports and absence records was also a fundamental building block for M.E.L. 
  • Speaking of which – in 2017/18 we embarked on a huge shift in how we teach, commencing the gradual process of helping teachers move to delivering classes with the aid of a Learning Management System – M.E.L.  This was a culmination of all the work and planning that began in 2012 to tie together a computing program and a learning platform. 
  • Alongside this, between 2016 and 2020 the school transitioned various older technologies to the Microsoft Office 365 Cloud, allowing the benefit of teachers and students accessing their work from anywhere while also enabling new collaboration opportunities. 
  • With Office 365 well established, we were able to “flick the switch” on one of its newest components, which we had been testing since its release – Microsoft Teams.  This modern video and instant messaging tool allowed teaching to continue during the pandemic while everyone was at home. 

This journey continues today, with us expanding and consolidating the work we have done to date.  It bears mentioning that this journey has never been just an “I.T. thing”, it has involved all of our staff in some way or another.  Everyone should be commended for the positivity they have brought to the changes which at times must have seemed daunting, and most importantly, the dedication and commitment they have shown to providing the best education possible. 

Mr Hal Douglas 

IT Manager