Photo: Colegio Marymount School
Digital technology can support the teaching and learning of all subjects in an abundance of ways. The schools that were shortlisted for the Digital Technology in Learning International School Award 2023 shared passion for the innovative use of technology and how it can support learning. This year’s most successful initiatives displayed ways that actively encourage students to develop their digital competencies, alongside enhancing learner responsibility and ownership through student-led projects.
Assistive tools remove barriers to learning
Ajman Academy School in the United Arab Emirates was shortlisted for the Digital Technology in Learning Award for its investment in a universal design pedagogical approach to support a culture of inclusive learning. A schoolwide approach to using predictive text and dictation features as assistive tools is being implemented to support students with their learning. 1:1 iPad provision and learning to use the assistive tools “empowers all students to take ownership of how they learn and demonstrate mastery of their learning,” which removes barriers to learning related to literacy skills.
Learner agency through digital tech
Marymount School in Barranquilla, Colombia, was also shortlisted in this category for its innovative ‘Youtorials’ initiative. It uses technology to create student-friendly content for studying and was introduced to improve their peer interaction and collaboration. Acknowledging the common challenges, students identified those students with expertise who then created individual video tutorials for their peers. These videos were stored in a library of resources for future second graders. Much of the initiative has been student-led and has enabled students to become agents of their own learning process, while developing digital responsibility through authentic experiences that focus on digital citizenship and responsibility, curating the material, and understanding copyright. “The potential from this project opens the door for teachers and learners,” says the application, with the initiative exhibiting impact beyond its initial intention of a demonstration of learning within the classroom.
Photo: Colegio Marymount School
A digital skills based curriculum
Dubai College in the United Arab Emirates was shortlisted in this category for its initiative to equip students with digital skills that can be leveraged across the curriculum and provide them with future workplace readiness. The digital skills programme has been designed to foster a sense of digital responsibility amongst the student body. It incorporates the wider school’s oracy, metacognition, and dual coding frameworks in addition to developing the advanced cognitive skills they are seeking to embed within the school. Students across Year 7 and Year 8 undertake a two-year course of digital skills and are required to complete a practical Office 365 bootcamp to ensure a seamless transition into the school’s Microsoft ecosystem. Some of the student tasks include video production, presentations, carrying out a philosophical research project, creating their own digital learning platform focused on the science of learning and revision, and more. The digital skills curriculum also incorporates units around the Adobe Premiere Pro software and Microsoft Excel to help students develop creative content and data management skills.
Congratulations to all three international schools. A big thankyou goes to Britannica Education for sponsoring the Digital Technology in Learning category.