The Botany Campus embraces learning with digital technologies.

With increasing staff expertise and available resources, the IT culture at the Botany Campus is evolving in dynamic ways. The changing pace of technology has revolutionized some of our teaching and learning.

How is digital technology integrated?

Digital technology is used by teachers and students across all subject areas from Y7-13 with a wide range of e-tools, devices and programmes being implemented. These are constantly being added to and updated through our teaching with inquiry. Staff continue to undergo regular professional learning to enrich their understanding of teaching and learning with digital technologies. Subject departments also actively participate in professional forums and online learning communities (locally and internationally) such as Mathletics, Live-Wire learning, Vital English, Language Perfect and Best Choice, Twitter, VLN, etc.

Fundamental learning still occurs in the classroom which is further supported at home by readily available online learning. This has made teaching and learning not only more accessible but also more exciting and engaging for students.

Traditional forms of assessment continue to be a significant part of a secondary student’s learning. Students are still processing paper-based information as this is a feature of NCEA external assessments. A well-balanced curriculum is offered to students where digital technology is used as a support to enhance teaching and to encourage student achievement. Not only is it important to keep up-to-date in the technological world, but it is also important to ensure that the tools, programmes and devices used prepare students for what lies beyond their final year of secondary schooling.

What devices do we use?

At the Botany Campus we advocate devices that assist students in research and aid them in processing and presenting their work in a format suitable for the particular needs of that subject and level. This allows for a wide variety of devices, programmes and e-tools to be used as we continue to explore new possibilities to equip our students in the 21st century. Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Microsoft Office 365, free for students in New Zealand, are actively used at the Senior Campus and devices should be able to support these platforms.

Years 7 – 10: All Year 7 – 10 students are encouraged to bring an iPad to support their learning. Parents are advised to invest in a shockproof case for the iPad.

Year 11 – 13: Students are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop to support their learning. At a minimum, devices have to meet the technical specifications explained below. Please note that some subjects in the NCEA curriculum, e.g. music, photography and design, may require specialised tasks and a higher level of computing power that will not be available in lower priced models. Students and parents are encouraged to contact a student’s NCEA subject teacher if they need more clarification about these specialised tasks.

What are the technical specifications of a laptop used by a Year 11 – 13 student?

● It has to have a guaranteed battery life of 5 hours or more from one charge.
● Laptops need to either have Windows 7 or higher, or Mac OS X 10.9 or higher.
● The device needs to have a physical keyboard.
● A protective casing is recommended for all devices (if a protective casing is available).
● Antivirus software (if available for the operating system of the device).

Important note: The Microsoft Surface RT tablet and Chromebooks are not compatible with some of Elim Christian College’s educational software and parents are advised not to purchase these devices.

Blended Learning Examples

Mathematics and Statistics use Excel and other software to calculate, graph and analyse enormous amounts of data. English requires students to create multi-media presentations and oral assessments are filmed to provide exemplars and pathways for future students. Online programmes such as Mathletics, Language Perfect and My Live-Wire Learning are used extensively as well as Vital English with ESOL students.

In the Social Sciences the teachers have been pushing the boundaries in the use of ICT in the classroom: Geography students have been learning how to use the Geographic Information Systems software ArcMap 10.0, which is produced by ESRI. This is the leading GIS software globally and is used by both central and local government worldwide. This was previously only taught in universities, but in recent years there has been a push for this to be taught in schools as well.

History students have been using video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro to recreate historic events as well as ArcMap. This type of software uses graphic files that use enormous quantities of data, which means it is essential to keep up to date with the latest and best technology. In Social Studies, Y9/10 students regularly use the Internet for research projects and utilise technology for a range of production purposes.