For Mount Sinai College's David Colville, it's important to ensure both teachers and students have access to the latest tools.
The Australian school, located in Sydney’s south-eastern suburbs, offers transformative learning opportunities embedded in modern Orthodox Jewish values. It has a roll of around 315 students aged up to year 6 level, with a further 45 students in pre-school.
“We’re an Apple Distinguished School with iPads for all the students and a mix of iPads and laptops for the teachers and staff," says David.
But, with that level of kit available to the school, David wanted to make sure teachers, staff, and students were getting the most out of the investment.
“We wanted to tap into the expertise and opportunity that’s available through the Datacom professional learning team and make sure the students were able to make the most of their iPads, which are so creative and effective as devices.”
From the principal on down, we’re very clear that we use technology where it enhances the teaching and learning.
David Colville, Director of Technology, Mount Sinai College.
The team at Datacom helped the school in Maroubra, New South Wales (NSW) learn to use the Apple hardware more efficiently and deliver better learning outcomes along the way.
“We don’t want to use devices just for the sake of it. From the principal on down, we’re very clear that we use technology where it enhances the teaching and learning, not just because it’s there."
For the students, that includes building augmented reality (AR) environments as well as the more traditional robotics and coding lessons that are part of everyday school life these days.
“We had Datacom come in to coach the kids as well as the teachers before we entered a video making competition so we could beef up our production skills.”
While COVID-19 caused disruption to the education industry as a whole, Mount Sinai classes continued pretty much as they had before.
“We operate a one student to one device programme in class and we quickly moved to do that at home as well.”
While some parents may be concerned about the new digital teaching models and the amount of screen time their children endure, David says helping parents understand what their children are doing with the technology really helps minimise any potential concerns they may have.
“When they see the students being creative and innovative in ways they couldn’t have been when they were at school, they realise this is part of the differentiation we offer at Mount Sinai."
In the future, David and Datacom will continue to support both teachers and students alike, working to upskill teachers so they can in turn support their students directly.
“We’re very fortunate. Our teachers are always willing to try new things and learn, especially when they can offer something new and innovative.”
For David and Mount Sinai, the combination of Apple and education and Datacom’s professional learning team delivers both in the classroom and beyond.