The future of technology and education is collaboration, not only between students and teachers, but between schools themselves.
Technology is transforming learning at an unprecedented rate, now schools are reaching out to help each other up tech ladder and cultivate some great learning.
Aorere College recently hosted the fifth annual EdTechTeam Auckland Summit, and with the successful summit under their belts, they've been selected to host the event again next year.
Deputy principal and head of Aorere Digital, Stuart Kelly, says they were really proud to host the event this year as it acknowledges the efforts they’ve put into their tech offering.
“The event is usually held at newer schools, but we’ve recently undergone a zero to hero edtech transformation.”
Over 400 teachers made their way to the South Auckland school to share and learn from each other and guest speakers.
The day was opened by Aorere College’s barbershop quartet: Fa Man; then the learning began.
Kelly says the guest speakers were amazing, with the likes of Google’s chief education evangelist, Jaime Casap and New Zealand’s own Richard Wells presenting.
Seeing the quality collaboration, sharing and innovation, as well as the number of Māori and Pasifika teachers present were the highlights of the summit, says Kelly.
Hosting the summit was a chance to show the transformative effect technology has had at Aorere College. Kelly says their transformation is thanks to his excellent in-school tech team and their vision of technology's place in learning.
“Technology in schools is about changing lives not just changing grades.”
It shows others what can be done even in lower decile schools says Kelly, "we're a decile two success story".
Kelly sees Aorere College’s success with tech as a chance to pay it forward, so they are working with several other schools to collaborate on digital offerings and give infrastructure advice.
Having an infrastructure that utilises tech that really works is the first key part of upgrading your school, says Kelly. Closely followed by having a team with a wide range of skills and a can-do attitude.
Kelly says it’s important to remember that it's not just about putting gadgets into classrooms.
“It’s not about the tech, it’s about learning potential.”
Kelly’s challenge to the sector is to have a go, and to learn from the most important end-users there are: your students.
Aorere College is excited to host the event again next year and are looking forward to the learning that will happen there.
In the meantime, Kelly says, they are focusing on making sure they are an institution that keeps using tech for the right reasons. Equipping their students with the skills they need to be competent on a world scale.