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Principal's as Cluster Leaders I-Connect Milestone 5


Year level - Secondary

 Cluster Type - Traditional ICT PD Cluster

 Context - Cluster progress towards achieving Goal 2

 National Goal

  • principals to lead the integration of e-learning in their schools (strategic and operational)

Cluster Goals

  • To approve and regularly review systems, staffing and structures that support e-learning 
  • To establish e-Learning as a priority that will be included into the schools strategic plan
  • To embed I-connect into school wide goals
  • To include  I-connect personnel in strategic planning, vision, leadership opportunities
  • To contribute to the VLN both at a cluster and leadership levels


  • To ensure that principals continue to have a visible and contributory part in the cluster and to ensure that opportunities and resources are available to support the demands for eLearning


  • If the principal is not leading and seen to be leading the innitiatives have far less chance of success.
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Buildings and upgrades are at present
a significant focus.

Wall mounted screens are proviing space saving and effective. Student advisers are valued and increasingly listened to.

What did we do?

  • Principals meet each term and review the cluster activities from their perspective. They share innitiatives for whole school learning activities, professional learning, infrastructure, success stories and challenges they face. There is a very strong collegiality amongst the principals tht ensures communication on many and varied topics that affect leadership and not limited to cluster matters.
  • All innitiatives are activities are supported and approved by the Principals. Some examples of principals in action.
  • Approve closing the schools for a full day mini conference in June.
  • Have taken a strong leadership role within own schools and some of this is recognising that the demand for access to eLearning resources is increasing and it is part of their role to find ways to facilitate the implementation.


  • Overseeing huge investment in network and infrastructure upgrade
  • Wireless upgrade school wide
  • Taking advantage of the school rebuild to find interesting ways to deploy equipment

An example of this was in the development of the staffroom where it was made really easy for “Spotlight” and other presentations via either projector or screen.

  • Netbooks purchases as recommended by the Digital Advisers
  • Implementation of Ultrafast broadband
  • New Phone system trial linking voice messages to email
  • Opening up Facebook and YouTube to all students
  • Continue to find appropriate opportunities for promoting safe use of applications and reinforce the high trust model that is in place for the school.

Martin O’Grady comments on the high trust model. “I am fully aware that there is an element of risk in what we are doing. At this stage we will be treating any indiscretion or issue in the same manner in which we would treat any other misdemeanour and will be dealt with accordingly. I fully appreciate that if there is a serious breach of trust I will be the one who is responsible for dealing with this.”

He also went on to reinforce that when it comes to digital devices we should accept that for some students the phone will be absolutely fine. “I have seen students in action producing documents on their phones as easily as we would with a laptop. Screen and keyboards size is not an issue. Therefore they are definitely part of our BYOD planning.

Sacred Heart

Steve Bryan highlights the following:

  • SNUPP Upgrade Liaison with Helen Jackson, Project Manager from TELCO, has been with us a few times surveying the environment for implementation. Documentation between our Proprietor, Catholic Schools Board, and TELCO has been completed and are  awaiting castings and plans
  • Ultrafast Broadband – school has been surveyed our environment for the School Connection Project. Documentation for School Approval and Deployment proposal have been completed and we await the fibre drop to our server room in 6 to 8 week.
  • Upgrade of Ultranet to include interoperability and parent portal
  • Being one of the teachers attached to an iHeart digital adviser reinforces the support for the initiative.
  • Controlled use of  cell phone usage is the extent pretty much for gathering of evidence through camera, stopwatch use

William Colenso

  • Huge overview of eLearning strategic plan
  • Making critical staffing decisions to support the goals moving forward
  • Regular reviews with key personnel to see the action plan from the strategic plan being implemented
  • SNUP upgrade liaison and monitoring as the upgrade is in progress as we write
  • Regular Meetings with technical team
  • Member of Conference organising team
  • Integral in Ultrafast broadband upgrade

What did we learn?

  • One of the keys things we have learned is that teachers are embracing the opportunities that technologies bring to their teaching.
  • Staff are becoming more aware of what they want programmes to do and are becoming quite discerning in finding ways, applications and devices to facilitate the learning. This means that if a learning management system does not meet these requirements they will use other collaboration tools
  • Trust in teachers and students has become very high in a number of cases
  • Facebook is not always the demon we hear about
  • YouTube is an essential teaching tool
  • Allowing students to bring their own devices to school is inevitable
  • Reflection on teaching is on-going and critical
  • Listening to students and providing opportunities for them to share in planning, teaching and learning is making a difference to the way we approach teaching and learning.

Next Steps:

  • Implementing plans for sustainability
  • Continuing to find ways to share and celebrate the learning

Additional Material