College showcases technology

Ormiston College student Ava Hurley, 6, shows Dean of E-Learning Tamara Sullivan what she created on Minecraft.
Ormiston College student Ava Hurley, 6, shows Dean of E-Learning Tamara Sullivan what she created on Minecraft.
Ormiston College students Noah Wechgeluer and Jordan Taulilo, both 13 years old, in the science lab with Microsoft academics program manager Jane Mackarell. 
Photos by Chris McCormack

Ormiston College students Noah Wechgeluer and Jordan Taulilo, both 13 years old, in the science lab with Microsoft academics program manager Jane Mackarell. Photos by Chris McCormack

ORMISTON College has been recognised by Microsoft in Education as an Associate Microsoft Showcase School, one of just a few select schools across the globe to earn the status.

Headmaster Brett Webster said because there were just six Microsoft Showcase Schools across Australia, Ormiston College's achievement was testament to the high standard of education available in Redland City.

The role of Showcase Schools was to develop transferable 'learning-how-to-learn' capabilities in their students, along with new skillsets and mindsets relevant to the digital age.

Mr Webster said the school had made technology a major priority in the past 10 years.

"Across the campus our leaders had some responsibility to buy into that initiative and start to do more in terms of using technology in ways that better improve learning, and engage the students to improve the things they could learn and also better prepare them for life beyond school," he said.

"It is a real part of the fabric in the college today."

On a tour at the school, Redland City Bulletin was able to see the technology in use in the classroom.

Students from year 1 through to year 12 used a program called OneNote Class Notebook on a laptop or tablet, allowing them to collaborate in class, keep up with the teacher's notes in real time and access class notes at home.

Year 1 students used Minecraft in the classroom for a creative writing exercise, while the year 5 extension maths students used Office Mix and OneNote to help one another solve problems by providing constructive criticism on the work of their peers.

Dean of E-Learning Tamara Sullivan said the school worked hard at building the culture of innovation.

"I work with the staff and train them on how to use particular technologies and look at 21st century skills," she said.

"When the students leave this school they are required to work in the face-to-face and online environments now.

"We are trying to be pro-active and give them the skills so they can go out into this online world and be able to live and work successfully in that type of environment.

Year 9 student Isabelle Courtney said she enjoyed the collaborative and innovative structure at the school.

"I think it is good because if we are not up to where the teacher is up to with taking notes, she writes it all on hers and it comes up on ours. If you don't catch what she is saying, you can go back later and look at it," she said.