At Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS), we are always thinking about how best to prepare students for the future to ensure that they have the skills they will need to thrive in the 21st Century.
STS recognizes that our students are digital natives; that technology is ubiquitous in their personal and academic lives. Research reveals that students’ comfort with technology in their personal lives is not synonymous with their mastery of technology to facilitate their learning or collaborate for learning’s sake. As such, it is paramount that schools provide leadership for information communication technology skills (ICT skills) in such a way that students learn how to engage with technology ethically and responsibly, while developing key competencies for 21st Century careers.
Technology plays a very significant role at all levels of our School. Students in Grades 1 to 5 use a classroom set of electronic notebooks while students from Grades 6 to 9 are assigned their own notebook for the school term. Students in Grades 10-12 are required to bring their own device.
As a center of teaching excellence, STS integrates technology into the learning experiences of our students, focusing on how technology prepares them for, and supports, life-long learning. Through the use of a variety of devices, including notebook computers, tablets, and smartphones, students and faculty have access to a wide variety of technology. These are beneficial tools that can provide opportunities to develop skills and confidence in using these mediums to transform their learning. Such opportunities will enhance their academic experience, provide engaging and enriched educational opportunities, and catalyze learning in both local and global contexts. Collectively this will serve to prepare them for university, careers and community.
The adoption of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program in the Senior School represents the next step at STS in the use of technology to support the development of 21st Century learning skills in our students. The use of personally chosen devices, software platforms, and applications in the classroom offers greater opportunities for students to experience innovative approaches to constructing knowledge, engage in creative and critical thinking, delve in to realistic problem-solving activities, and enjoy enhanced connectivity and collaboration opportunities – all of which support authentic educational outcomes. In short, it is the latest advancement in our leveraging of technology to support student success.