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To Explore the Possibilities ICT Provides the 21st Century Learner

St Joseph's is a fine smaller Catholic and State Integrated school situated in Matamata (a Waikato rural town at the foot of the Kaimai Ranges)..

We are a 2 teacher school with three classrooms onsite. (Yr 0 – Yr 7). We are thrilled to be part of Matamata Primary Schools ICT Cluster.
We are ready to ride the ICT wave and engage ourselves with e-learning opportunities.

Focus:
To engage the school students and teachers in e-learning and progress with this area. Over the last three years we have upgraded IT equipment and improved our infrastructure. Classroom practise must change to include e-learning opportunities for students and teachers.

Rationale:
To explore the possibilities ICT provides the 21st Century learner and also to jump on board the IT wave. To be in partnership with the goals and outcomes of the Matamata schools cluster group.
Students are beginning to learn in a digital world so it is important we include this with their learning throughout their school years. At St Joseph’s the students and teachers will continue to enhance their knowledge and improve their skills and use of e-learning in the classroom.

What did we do? 
The school developed and improved its Inquiry Model to be used and followed by teachers and students (updated 2011). Please view the cluster Research Model on the District ICT wiki under Teacher Inquiry. (wikispaces). Teachers were expected to include the use of e-learning throughout their teaching practise and into the curriculum. Students will get the opportunity to use computers, digital cameras and web 2 tools on the internet. The schools ICT infrastructure will need to be enhanced. ICT Policies and student agreements will need reviewing.

What Happened? Results?
In Summary, the school Inquiry model is being used and followed by teachers and students. This process can be extended and developed by students. The models and ideas on the cluster wiki can be referred to and used more when future planning occurs. Some teachers are offering the basics for students and e-learning opportunities could be extended for student learning and teacher planning. Students are using computers well. Digital cameras are being used and personal files stored on the student drive are always being updated with student work. Broadband Internet can be utilised and accessed. Equipment is being upgraded annually. A new robust Wireless network system for the classrooms is now in place and fully functional. School ICT policies and student ICT agreements need further reviewing to be actioned carefully. School wiki and blog is now fully operational but needs more regular updating. The school has a formal website and this needs upgrading.

What did we learn?
Plenty – Look for continual improvement. E-learning is an area that supports the curriculum and is continually changing and more gadgets and tools are out there to be used. The real dilemma is what to use and engage with regularly to ensure the best and most effective tools can support student learning and also be ideal considering our own small school context. There is no avoiding it – the wave has been caught. Classroom practise is changing to include e-learning opportunities for students, but this has been at a steady rate, sweeping gains should be projected in future.

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Next Steps! 
Where is St Joseph’s heading in 2012 and beyond?
ICT Equipment and Infrastructure must be further enhanced and improved. Teacher knowledge and classroom practise must be further improved and altered to positively affect classroom change as many e-learning opportunities evolve within the curriculum.
Our senior classroom will be fitted with a data projector and surround sound. More laptops purchased. At least 5 desktops to be upgraded and a few smaller ICT tools to be purchased. A 50 inch flat screen teaching station will be purchased for the Junior room, so the teacher may use the laptop for classroom modelling.
All teachers to be on board and use ICT’s within their daily programme.