A delegation of educators from Korea, including Mr Kang Duk Ki of the Korean Ministry of Education’s Student Welfare Policy Division and twenty primary and secondary school teachers, visited two AARNet-connected schools recently to observe how Australian schools are using Information Communications Technology (ICT) for teaching and learning.
St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School in Brisbane and Knox Grammar School in Sydney welcomed the Korean visitors into their classrooms to observe technology integration in action and talk to ICT staff and teachers of different age groups.
Nick Cross, AARNet’s Manager, Education Outreach and Dr Myung-sook Auh, Program Director of the Asia ConneXions language and cultural exchange project and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of New England, accompanied the Korean delegation on their tour of Knox, where a variety of platforms, software and devices, including laptops, iPads, smartphones and smart boards are used to enhance learning.
With the aim of equipping students with the skills, knowledge and experience to reach their potential, Knox teaches students how to use technology creatively. It is also a school where global projects play an important role in teaching and learning.
The School leverages the capabilities of its reliable high bandwidth AARNet connection to provide students with an array of opportunities to develop essential computational and systems thinking skills and make global connections.
For example, during the tour the visiting Korean educators learnt how a global Minecraft project led by Knox, and open to teams worldwide, supports the development of students’ problem-solving and collaboration skills.
They also heard from Year 7 students about the merits of videoconference sessions with school students in Korea for gaining a new understanding of the cultural differences between Australia and Korea (organised by Dr Auh via the Asia ConneXions program).
Dr Auh said the delegation gathered a lot of useful information and ideas from the tour and in particular, from the Q&A session with Headmaster John Weeks, Director of Studies Karen Yager and ICT Integrator Michael Beilharz.
Key initiatives of interest to many of the delegates for adapting in their classrooms were the Asia ConneXions video conferencing program with schools to foster global connections in the Asia Pacific region and Knox’s e-health strategy for teaching students how to use technology safely.
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