Learning curve steepens in a digital world

THE brave new world of education is being embraced at Sanctuary Point Public School.

IT manager and student mentor Ben Wells is connecting students to this innovative way of learning.

His Bring Your Own Device to School and The Future Book programs are making people stand up and take notice.

He was busy preparing some material for this year’s EduTECH conference in Brisbane in June when he received another invitation.

The EduTECH organisers were so impressed with what Mr Wells had outlined for his talk they signed him and Sanctuary Point Public School principal Jeff Ward up for this week’s Future Schools event.

It was last year’s EduTECH conference that inspired Mr Wells, who was encouraged all the way by Mr Ward.

With support from his principal he compiled The Future Book and came up with programs like Bring Your Own Device to School.

Students bring their own devices such as tablets and smartphones to school to use in the classroom.

Tablets and computers are made available to students who don’t own them.

With fighting cyber bullying one of the project’s aims, students learn how to use social media properly.

“People my age were thrown in the deep end when it came to social media,” Mr Ward said.

“Our students are taught about their moral responsibilities on social media.”

The Future Book has been another success; Mr Wells said it contains tasters of various technical teaching plans.

A teacher can pick one of the tasters, do some research and use what they learn in their classrooms.

Despite his successes, an overwhelmed Mr Wells said he felt a little out of his depth with the conference fast approaching.

“The person speaking before me has a doctorate,” he said.

“At Future Schools there will be 400 plus people and at EduTECH there will be over 1000.”

Mr Wells said his talk would be from the heart and chart the success Sanctuary Point School has had when introducing new ways to teach students.

Mr Ward will also speak at Future Schools.

EduTECH is Australasia’s largest annual education technology conference and exhibition.

The same group organises this month’s Future Schools in Sydney which will examine the creation of inspiring new physical learning spaces, as well as supporting the move toward online classrooms.

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