In the last In Fide, I spoke on the Home Learning Program and how it has been an opportunity for all to learn and grow – students, teachers and parents alike. Often in time of crisis, important lessons are learnt; this time is no different and am of the opinion that student learning has not been “lost” and that students will have not fallen “further behind” as certain media outlets had reported they may.
A discussion with Senior students last week highlighted how adaptable our young men have become during this time in isolation. They commented on how they have learnt to think through issues and problem solve differently. How looking at creative ways to resolve issues has led to recreating a new path, or altogether removing the obstacle. A number of students also highlighted that they have completed more work in the home environment without distractions, although for some, the distractions of their phone, food or sports equipment have impacted the continuity of learning. However, the reflective process to recognise this in their learning will no doubt assist in finding a new approach upon returning to school. To illustrate, only recently our Middle Years students politely provided feedback of their own accord, through the SRC and to the teachers on how the learning experience can be improved on Zoom conferencing to ensure questions could be raised and support provided. A fine example of how a Whitefriars boy can never be questioned for their ingenuity!
An obvious and key aspect of the Home Learning Program has been the increased shift and reliability of technology for learning. I thank our teachers for exploring new ways to use the technology to engage our students. I would also like to thank our IT Department who have been nothing short of amazing in supporting all members of our community.
The use of technology has been strategically implemented and managed online to help each young man succeed in this virtual environment. The Home Learning Program has encouraged and further utilised the Whitefriars College documentary and film platform, ClickView. This program supports the curriculum by providing over 3,500 titles for students and over 40,000 titles for staff, all accessed via their laptops and mobile phones, which has seen a dramatic rise in usage statistics during the Home Learning Program. Students and staff have also uploaded individual, self-created programs for teaching and assessment purposes, to a secured location. Another important technological tool has been the implementation and use of the class One Notes. Students are able to work online and staff can simultaneously provide feedback and class resources. Students and staff are to be congratulated on utilising ClickView and our new class One Notes to improve learning in our Home Learning Program and for future use upon returning to the classroom.
Mr Mark Ashmore
Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching