Learning and Innovation

Learning Technologies at Patrician Brothers’ Blacktown

Priority One – Learning Spaces

Contemporary learning is radically different from the blackboards, rows of single desks and teacher-

focused activities that many parents would remember from the 1980s and 90s. Textbooks have been

replaced by online learning resources, pens are slowly giving way to touchscreens and voice control

and projectors have been upgraded to flat screen monitors with wireless connection. Students and

teachers now work collaboratively, often in groups and project teams, using mobile technologies to

access information, construct plans and develop shared solutions to problems, investigations and

challenges.

Agile learning spaces are now commonplace in many schools. Our new TAS, CAPA and general

learning facilities, along with the Patrician Learning Centre, Library and almost all existing

classrooms; provide technology-rich environments for our students to access digital information,

plan and design using online tools and present solutions that are both informed and collaborative.

Patrician Brothers’ Blacktown runs a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program which enables a 1:1

learning environment, where each student has access to a device to use at school and at home. From

digital collaboration to digital creativity, our boys have not only experienced some of the latest classroom

technologies, more importantly, they have been preparing for the workplaces of the future. The next

stage in our development will see further refinement of our learning management system, in conjunction

with the BYOD program.

 

Priority Two – Enriched Pedagogy

We must equip our students for the future. Unless we create learning opportunities that engage and

stimulate the creativity and imagination of our students, then we have failed and our students will be

left behind.

While contemporary learning spaces need to be technology-rich, the way that teachers organise these

spaces and the learning process that occurs within them is even more important. While there are

many elements of learning that still require direct instruction by teachers and individual skill

development by students, contemporary learning strategies such as investigation and problem-

solving in project teams require students to be involved in a process that generally includes planning,

collaboration and presentation. Learning technologies needs to enable and facilitate this process.

 

Priority Three – Professional Development

At Patrician Brothers’ Blacktown, learning is certainly not limited to the students. Staff are

continually undertaking professional development across a range of areas related to pedagogy and

the implementation of new learning technologies in the classroom. The rapid development of online

and collaborative learning tools in recent years has been a particular focus.