Digital Learning at Loreto 2014

Digital Learning @ Loreto

At Loreto Normanhurst, through Digital Pathways, learning is closely linked with the way students engage in their digital world.  Our workshops, presentations and planning are based on research and adaption to the Loreto learning experience.  Digital Pathways at Loreto has an important learning component and this is reflected in some of the ideas of Bruce Dixon of the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation (AALF).

He suggests modern learners have the ability to access high quality content whenever and in whatever format they  need it,  have the ability to  form networks and participate in highly interconnected groups, have the ability save and retrieve information in a variety of formats, have the ability to reuse and build upon the work of others, have the ability to quickly find feedback from multiple sources,  have the ability to generate large amounts of data about our technological based activities and have the ability to operate in the same spaces  as experts and professionals.

It is endorsing to listen to a presentation from an expert in the field which reflects Loreto Normanhurst's best practice, employing strategies to enhance 21st Century Learning. In particular we can explore four approaches adopted at Loreto.

The first is how we plan and evolve engagement with digitalcontent.  We make use of wikis, blogs, a range of web tools and key school platforms such as Edublogs. For example, Year 8 Integrated students have their personal school Edublog which acted as the e-portfolio on a unit of work of learning in the context of the Music Festival. This site can be carried through to other units of work throughout the year.

The second approach is how we ethically and safely remixcontent from the web which develops a culture of sharing  at the same time as showing respect for  and understanding of both creators and consumers of web content. Students curate existing content and create their own material in the process of learning. For example, teachers make use of TED Talks and educational YouTube clips to supplement and support active learning in the classroom. Also teachers at Loreto, through the Loreto 5 program,   “flip” the classroom through the production of videos, which students can access in their own time to teach topics or undertake revision.

The third involves encouraging students to have a digital learning identity.  Digital identity is more than how students engage in social media on the web.  We aim that the student’s presence on the web reflects that they are digital learners.  For example in the Unit of work “My Brilliant Career” in Year 10  we explore LinkedIn and the notion they need to develop a professional digital identity. For example, a recently graduated student was very excited that in a digital audit of her online reputation, while at university, highlighted her Extension History blog.  She was very pleased that her digitally identity reflected that she was a student of history.

The fourth approach which is evolving involves digitalactivism in learning.  The digital world has provided new platforms to become actively engaged citizens consistent with the values of a Loreto education.  ‘Actions speak louder than Like buttons’ and the girls may engage in active learning contributing through Facebook groups, TakingITGlobal or Project Futures, with which the school has  closely identified. Teachers naturally have to take an active role in this sort of activism from both a safety and learning perspective.

The digital world is providing a paradigm shift in the way we live, work and learn. In life and work we do things differently compared to only a few years ago and learning is no different. Fortunately we are working at Loreto Normanhurst to understand and develop best practice to shape our digital learners.   

 

Mr Martin Pluss

Dean of Learning

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