Integrating Information Technology is an integral part of St Aloysius’ learning framework as a contemporary learning community. Students have the opportunity to work with a range of technologies from K-6 including having a large bank of iPads and laptops for classroom use.
Years 4-6 participate in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program which means that students bring to school personally owned or family owned devices for the purpose of learning. In our BYOD program, the school stipulates a designated set of specifications for a computer to be used by all students participating in the program. At St Aloysius we require students to have a Window-based laptop.
The access to devices that a BYOD program provides, will assist students in developing digital literacy, fluency and citizenship while preparing them for the high-tech world in which they will live, learn and work. It will have the potential to empower students by giving them a voice in the decision-making process of how they use technology in their own learning. It will also allow teachers to continue to employ technology in the classroom while building on the experiences gained in the previously supported Digital Education.
Leveraging digital technologies to improve student learning is key in making the decision to move to a BYOD model. Many students already own devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops and using a specific device at school only compliments the technology used at home and in the community.
This need has been recognised at a government level with education ministers from across the nation stating that “globalisation and technological change are placing greater demands on education and skill development in Australia, and the nature of jobs available to young Australians is changing faster than ever.” (MCEECDYA, 2008, p.4)
The Melbourne Declaration and the Australian Curriculum place an emphasis upon building innovative capabilities of students within and across discipline boundaries. As a means towards facilitating this, Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills have been established as a ‘general capability’ within the Australian Curriculum. This means that it is expected that they be embedded seamlessly across the disciplines of the entire curriculum. The integration of a student BYOD technology program will go a long way to facilitating integration across all curriculum areas.