Mulgrave offers students a stimulating, relevant, academic environment where technology is an accelerator of learning. Technology enhances inquiry, research, and creativity. It inspires critical thinking that connects to real-world problem solving and responsible action. Technology enables dynamic, individualised learning that is not bound by classroom walls, assisting our students to become their personal best in a rapidly changing, culturally diverse, and interdependent world.
We aim to empower students to move beyond mere technology consumption into problem-solving, creation, and innovation. We know that technology can have a very positive impact on learning and achievement when it:
supports higher cognitive activity
personalises their learning experience
extends learning beyond the classroom
Below is a snapshot of how technology enhances learning throughout the IB Continuum at Mulgrave.
- Technology and the Early Years Programme (PK and Kindergarten)
- Technology and the Primary Years Programme (Grades 1-5)
- Technology and the Middle Years Programme (Grades 6-10)
- Technology and the Diploma Programme (Grades 11 and 12)
Technology-enhanced learning starts in our Early Years Programme. It is our philosophy that working with technology at a young age should only require a minimum of screen time. Teachers closely monitor this while, for example, using YouTube videos to observe animals in natural habitats, and Google Maps and Google Earth to explore geographical features like volcanoes. These experiences support discovery that bridges school and the outside world and enables young learners to see the big picture of global interdependencies. Video recordings of students sent to parents through the Seesaw platform create opportunities for youngsters to reflect and understand their thinking, and to share it with authentic audiences. Students also learn to think critically and constructively while learning to create and build their own robots using Lego-like bricks.
We begin each school year with a Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship Bootcamp that is personalised for each grade. With the help of their classroom teacher, students create an Essential Agreement that clearly establishes the rules and expectations surrounding their use of technology during instructional hours. It is our philosophy that working with technology at a young age should not be centred around screen time. We look for opportunities to create with technology, build robotics, develop programming skills, design with circuitry, and collaborate with peers to think critically as well as creatively.
Students in Grades 2 to 5 participate in a 1:1 iPad programme throughout the year. iPads provide opportunities for interactive communication and the exchange of information thanks to global collaboration, authentic learning, expansion of the learning community, and empowerment for all learners. iPads also help to support the broader school vision of using technology to enhance and personalise learning, and to develop digital literacy and citizenship of our students.
We are aware that using technology to support learning has many advantages but acknowledge there may also be dangers if used inappropriately. Teachers work with students and parents to ensure that they understand potential risks and have strategies to avoid and manage them. Technology is just one medium to support learning and it is important that it doesn’t become a distraction or cause an imbalance in focus for students. Quality over quantity is key to the success of Mulgrave’s technology enhanced learning environment. We want every student to finish the PYP with the confidence to be a creator of technology, and not simply a consumer.
To support and extend learning in Grades 6 to 12, students are required to have a personal device as an always-available choice. As they transition to the MYP, they are supported by teachers to make increasingly smart choices as to when it is appropriate to use technology, and about the opportunities available to them to enhance learning with digital tools. The first week of classes for all Grade 6 through 9 students is devoted to the Digital Literacy and Citizenship (DLC) Bootcamp. During this week, course teachers focus on developing students’ digital skills to set them up for success in their specific courses. Communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking skills are taught within the context of a subject: online research skills through Social Studies, analysing and interpreting data in Science, computational thinking skills for problem solving in Mathematics, and writing for online audiences in English. Students build from this foundation, developing a digital toolkit that enhances and extends learning throughout their MYP years.
Mulgrave’s LEAP Electives allow students to personalise their learning in ways that reflect their interests, strengths, and passions. Like all learning at Mulgrave, technology expertise is not an end goal in these courses. Rather, students may immerse themselves in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses in Robotics, Coding, Drones, Architecture, 3D Animation, Video Game Design, and Web Programming, where the development of design thinking, problem solving, and computational thinking skills are the larger goals of these technology-enhanced learning environments. LEAP Arts courses enable MYP students to engage and extend learning with industry leading technology such as in our Digital Photography, Video Production, Music DJing, and Theatre Technician electives.
As they reach their culminating year in the MYP, Grade 10 students draw on these skills through their IB Personal Project, where they explore something they are passionate about framed within the MYP Design Cycle. Some students choose projects that incorporate significant technology components, such as developing an app or a web-based service, designing a rocket, programming robots, or building a solar-powered skateboard. For all students the development of a personal project within a global context is fundamental to the process. Technology is a gateway for students to research, plan, analyse and make connections, putting Digital Literacy and Citizenship (DLC) skills, in addition to approaches to learning (AtL) skills into a global, real-world context.
In Grades 11 and 12, Mulgrave students consolidate their technology literacy skills, routinely making strategic use of digital tools to enhance understanding, reasoning, and to gather evidence from a broad cross section of sources that add interest to curriculum content. Supported by teachers who encourage choice in how students access information and demonstrate knowledge, students use technology to learn from and with each other, and from experts. Technology in the DP supports creativity, collaboration and communication. Students develop not only practical skills but also strategies to research, critically analyse, make decisions, and compile information to solve problems. Along the way they are learning and practicing digital literacy and citizenship concepts and developing a professional profile that will serve them well in their futures beyond Mulgrave.