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About Us Information Technology

At Ivanhoe Girls', Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is used to enhance learning and develop essential skills for life and work.

In late 2021 the School engaged an external ICT consultant to partner with us to undertake a wide-ranging review of our ICT infrastructure and with a view to how we use technology to support teaching, learning and administration within the School. A specific outcome of the review was to identify opportunities for enhanced and more effective use of technology by students and members of staff and to create an ICT Strategic Vision to optimise the use of contemporary technologies. The ICT Review Report was received in May 2022 and contains a series of detailed recommendations. 

IT Approved Device for Year 7 2023

A number of the recommendations address the limitations that exist when students bring a diverse range of devices with varying and limited capabilities to school under our current Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. Not only do the devices vary in their capability, but that variation can also be detrimental to the needs of the teaching and learning that teachers want to facilitate, and some older devices can slow down the Wi-Fi experience for all users in the classroom. The variation also creates significant challenges for the effective support of devices through our ICT Team given the range of platforms, models and operating systems in use.

To ensure that the quality of the learning and teaching program we provide to our students remains high, the School has made the decision to progressively move students to a designated device starting in 2023 with the incoming Year 7 cohort. The decision on which designated device students will use has been informed by educational research undertaken by members of our learning and teaching team. That research demonstrates that restricting students to under-performing technology can seriously undermine their thinking and performance and limit their preparedness for work life beyond School. It was clear from the research that to nurture inquiring minds, unleash deep learning and inspire creativity, students should have proficiency in a combination of interfaces including, at a minimum, touch screens, a digital pen/stylus for annotation and a keyboard.

The latest digital pens make writing, erasing and sketching on a touch sensitive screen feel as natural as writing with a traditional pen on paper thus maintaining the fine motor skills used for completing VCE examinations. More importantly though, Princeton University researchers Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer discovered that students who hand-write notes in class (rather than type them on a laptop) have significantly better knowledge retention rates and conceptual understanding of ideas and do better on tests. Handwriting with a digital pen also allows for personal expression, the use of non-linguistic characters and annotation on digitised texts.

A staged rollout of a new designated device will commence at the start of the 2023 school year with all Year 7 students being required to use the same school-designated device. No other devices, other than the school-designated device, will be able to be brought to School by Year 7 students in 2023. The program will also be extended to the incoming Year 7 groups in each of the following years so that by the start of the 2025 school year, all students in Years 7 to 9 will be using the same digital pen and touch sensitive screen device. At that point a planned review will be conducted of the designated device program.

The designated device program will provide a number of specific benefits to students and to their parents/guardians:

  • The designated device will come with a stylus and touch sensitive screen to enable more flexible use of the technology by students
  • Enhanced onsite ICT helpdesk services will be available to students with the designated device
  • The School has been able to package the supply of the designated device along with an extended three-year warranty, accidental breakage/damage insurance (up to $100 per claim) and quick-turnaround break/fix support as part of a negotiated bulk education purchase price
  • Unlike the current BYOD program, the School will actively manage and support the designated student-owned devices throughout the three-year warranty and support period
  • A secure and easy-to-use online portal will be provided to enable parents/guardians to order and pay for the device and support package
  • The School will be able to use modern device management to “build” the designated devices and manage updates remotely and automatically, ensuring that all devices remain with the most current versions of all the required software applications without the need for students or parents/guardians to manage those updates.

Information Technology in 2022

  • Students in ELC to Year 4 have access to iPads and laptop computers in the classroom, and access to a computer laboratory
  • Students in Years 5 to 9 use iPads as part of their regular learning under a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scheme
  • Students in Years 10 to 12 access learning materials via the School’s wireless network and the BYOD scheme.

ICT Infrastructure

Our ICT infrastructure is flexible, expandable and accessible to all students. We offer access to:

  • a wireless and cabled network across the School
  • six dedicated computer laboratories
  • scanners, cameras and printers
  • Windows and Mac Operating System devices
  • interactive whiteboards (IWBs)
  • our School Intranet, hive.

Our Cyber Positive Education Program

 Our Cyber Positive Education Program has three strands:

  • Cyber Positive – how to use technology positively and avoid traps and pitfalls
  • Cyber Savvy – applying technology to advantage
  • Cyber Citizenship – the rights, respect and responsibilities involved with using technology.

Cybersafety

The Ivanhoe Girls’ Cybersafety Policy manages the risks of ICT being used inappropriately at School while maximising the benefits of ICT for students. Students, parents and staff sign a Cybersafety Use Agreement, which outlines specific expectations regarding the School’s ICT facilities.

ICT in the Curriculum

Teachers plan for purposeful, meaningful and relevant use of technology to enhance learning across all curriculum areas. Technology can also provide “hands-on” engagement in technically complex activities, such as:

  • probes connected to computers to measure changes in temperature, oxygen concentration and motion in Science classes
  • polar monitors to investigate heart rate changes during exercises in Physical Education
  • on-site use of laptops in Geography fieldwork allows immediate recording of data.

Offsite Learning

In 2020-21 during periods of COVID-19 restrictions, the School intranet system, hive became the focal point for all teaching and learning. Together with Zoom and tools such as Seesaw, staff were able to interact with students, assign lessons, give feedback and respond to the needs of students with a flexible and agile approach, and a focus on the wellbeing of students.