“I hate technology,” said no student ever. I have the best job at Holy Cross, well I think so anyway. Our students love learning with technology and investigating how it works, and I get to help this happen. My role is officially eLearning Coordinator and Digital Technologies Teacher and you can find me in our awesome new STEM Room, just next to our wonderful library. The students address me as ‘Mr Gunter’ or ‘Sir’, but please call me David if you would like to come in and chat further about all things ‘tech’ at Holy Cross, even if it is to ask for help connecting to the School Portal or your child’s Seesaw.
eLearning Coordinator means I get to help our learning community, teachers and students, use technology to enhance learning outcomes for all our students, and facilitate students on their journey of becoming 21st Century Learners. Investigating and creating with technology has become so exciting it is hard to even put into words, through technology I have seen our students become: Photographers, Journalists, Movie Makers, Digital Artists, Musicians, Animators, Publishers, Vloggers, and more. The different avenues new technologies offer our students to investigate, learn and demonstrate their understanding makes it a very exciting time in education.
2019 has been the first year Holy Cross has offered STEM and Digital Technology as a specialist’s stream, which means I am lucky enough to engage with every single student in the school, in a subject that instantly engages. I surveyed the students about highlights of the year, here are the results as a ‘Wordle,’ the most common answers the larger text:
The students have really enjoyed learning in our new refurbished Stem Space. If I think about a 21st Century Workspace, I think of somewhere like Google or Facebook, open spaces, flexible seating, activities offered for a break from work. I would like to think our STEM space is heading in that direction with cushions, stools, wobble chairs, different height desks and lots of space, and giving students options to how they want to learn and who they want to learn with, to bring out their potential.
Not to mention our awesome collection of Lego, kindly donated from P & F. STEM is fundamentally designing and creating solutions to solve problems. Making Lego is the perfect tool for letting our students’ minds run wild. From Prep to Year 6, I know all of our students have had fun and learnt through Lego creation, culminating in a recent project, where a number of our students designed and created their ideal secondary school, based on the real life project happening now at JCU with the new Catholic Secondary School being planned.
Modern technology can engage students on an unprecedented level. This year I introduced using Minecraft for Education with our Senior Students and they have been so actively engaged and creative, I have been blown away. Our initial units have had us reproducing Asian Monuments, creating a replica Holy Cross and themed mazes on transitioning to secondary school.
Another development at Holy Cross has been our Coding Clubs and the amazing interest shown from our students. In the past year, through Coding Clubs, we have seen our students create Cyber Safety Bloxel Games, investigate with Sphero and Jumping Sumo Robotics, a girls only Drones Club and more recently we have offered our first Code Camp.
With the immediate future including 3D Printers, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence all being developed with education in mind, this space will only get more exciting, especially for our students.