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the ruyton reporter
Ruyton’s technological evolution
When Gary Richmond commenced employment at
Ruyton as IT Manager, in September 1996, there were
two classrooms in the Jacobs Building converted into
computer laboratories and the network was centred in
a small office sandwiched between those two
classrooms.The computer laptop programme for
students in Years 5 - 12 began in 1995, wireless computer
networks for schools were in their infancy and email
was a relatively new concept. How things have
changed, and Gary has been a solid guiding hand
through it all.Technology continues to develop rapidly
and staff and students alike come to rely on it, ensuring
that Gary’s telephone runs hot as soon as there is any
technical problem.Throughout it all Gary has been a
cheerful, congenial and intelligent staff member. He
has worked long hours in the office, at home and on
weekends to try to ensure that systems are ready and
reliable for the School. Gary has been an invaluable
member of the Ruyton staff.We will miss his attention
and devotion to all things IT and well beyond.We wish
him and his wife, Sue, an enjoyable retirement.
Mr Peter Sharples,
Business Manager
iNetworking
Ms Sue Patterson has taken on the newly-developed role of Digital Learning Mentor this year. Her
responsibilities include supporting the implementation of IT programmes in the classroom at Ruyton.
In preparation for this role she visited several international schools in September 2012 with the view to learning
more about how technology is used in other schools. Sue’s first stop was St George’s School in Edinburgh, one of
our sister schools.This is an edited excerpt from her blog:
In many respects, St George’s is a very much like Ruyton, with staff and students promoting similar values and
pursuing similar goals in their teaching and learning, but travelling a different road to arrive there. However, the
ICT environment at St George’s is quite different to Ruyton. Neither staff nor students have laptops or tablets and
the new wireless network covers only the main building in the Senior School. Each classroom has a smart board
and at least one computer. A class set of laptops is available for use in the Senior School while the Junior School
ICT room has 12 PCs and eight laptops for class use.
Sue then went on to Singapore, where she visited the UnitedWorld College of South East Asia.
The ICT Learning Coaches work alongside teachers to assist them in using digital technologies in their teaching
and learning programmes. Sometimes they assist with teaching classes, ensuring that Digital Citizenship is
integrated into the curriculum. UWCSEA is a Mac and Google school using Google Apps for Education to facilitate
cloud computing services in teaching and learning.Trolleys of colour coded iPads are available for class use from
the ICT Centre and Senior School students have access to Mac Books. Classrooms in all sections of the school have
been purpose built and furnished to facilitate collaborative learning.
Finally, Sue visited the Canadian International School (CIS) in Singapore.
The CIS is also a Mac and Google Apps school and they are in the second year of implementing the ISTE Nets for
teachers and students. I observed Junior students utilising the Puppet Pal app to create their own stories and Year
8
Design students creating poster designs for their current product, a car, in Pages on their Mac Books.
Communication and Collaboration, Creativity and Curiosity
We will ensure that digital learning finds its place in a range of approaches to learning
and teaching that are suited to the needs of our students.’
Strategic Directions 2012-2016
Mr Jeremy Kalbstein is Ruyton’s inaugural Director of Digital Learning and it is his
responsibility to ensure that we equip our students with those digital skills necessary
for the world today.
Digital technology has advanced so rapidly in such a short period of time that it is
essential we engage our students authentically in a relevant and exciting way.When
they leave Ruyton they will be entering a world which requires skills of communication,
collaboration, creativity and curiosity. The digital environment we seek to create will
allow us to develop these skills and to extend their learning beyond the classroom, into
cultures and communities from around the globe.
Integrating digital technologies into the learning environment should be seamless,
and not regarded as an add-on. Blended learning is where traditional learning is
combined with online learning to incorporate the use of desktop computers, tablets,
phones, cameras and interactive whiteboards. However, it is important that we do
not
just
digitalise traditional methods of teaching, such as using word programmes
to replace the traditional pen and paper approach, but that we seek to extend our
learning. For instance, we might use an iPad app, such as Creative Book Builder,
to create an eBook.We extend our learning by creating the many resources of text,
images, videos, and sound, engaging our students and promoting skills of collaboration
and creativity.
Ms Sylvia Guidara worked with the ICT committee last year to develop the Digital
Learning Strategic Plan. She also worked with all teaching staff to unpack the thinking
behind
ISTE Nets*
and to facilitate its implementation in their teaching. This is a crucial
part of the Digital Learning Strategic Plan at Ruyton, so our students are enabled to
become digital citizens in an online world, using critical thinking, communicating and
sharing, collaborating, making informed decisions and becoming fluent in researching
and information gathering.
Digital learning is very much inquiry-
based and student driven. As our staff
encourage their students to take
ownership of their learning we are
equipping themwith the necessary
skills to become authentic citizens
in the 21st century.
*
ISTE Nets
International Society for
Technology in Education, National
Education Technology Standards
are the standards for evaluating
the skills and knowledge educators
need to teach, work, and learn
in an increasingly connected global
and digital environment.
Mr Jeremy Kalbstein,
Director of Digital Learning
Digitally Enhanced