Digital Learning at St Catherine’s - the best of all worlds
As a world-class school, and a 1-1 iPad school, St Catherine’s blends the very best of traditional British educational values with a contemporary, reflective engagement with the digital world. We aim to cultivate in our students, staff and parents a ‘Digital Intelligence’ - a mind-set of openness to, confidence in, and critical engagement with digital learning, which combines digital skills and digital literacy.
What is Digital Learning?
Teachers and students have been using computers for many years, and digital learning from that perspective is nothing new. However, the iPad revolution has brought substantial change to educational best practice, offering new ways of augmenting and redefining teaching and learning that were inconceivable just a few short years ago. Areas such as collaborative learning, where the whole class can work in real time into one document wherever they are in the world, are revolutionising students' experiences in education.
The iPad can take us beyond the classroom walls on interactive learning adventures unimaginable in our own school days, and also enable us to engage with academic content in entirely new ways. As a consequence, independent learning has also been fundamentally changed, with access to cutting edge multimedia resources available free from top Universities, to stretch and challenge our brightest in readiness for University applications.
What are Digital Skills?
Always underpinned by our outstanding ICT department, our students have been competent and confident computer users for many years. iPads are now moving us toward additional digital skills, and our students are encouraged and supported to leverage the internet’s potential for learning as creators of content rather than passive consumers.
Depending on your daughter’s subject options she will have opportunities, among other things, to:
- design games
- contribute to public science programmes
- create content
- use collaborative tools
- edit photography
- design digital art and music
- run social media campaigns aiming for a better world
What is Digital Literacy?
Growing up in the ‘Digital Age’ is not without pitfalls. We are fully aware of this and take a pro-active stance.
Students need to be taught how to engage critically with online sources, how to research effectively, and how to credit their sources. They also need to be taught, perhaps most importantly of all, how to stay safe online, and how and when to switch off and unplug.
We present the e-safety message from the early years onward and tackle it directly with Social Media-based programmes in the U4. Managing your online identity and understanding its impact is taught directly in Sixth Form through our University Preparation course. All U6 leavers move on with a LinkedIn profile ready for their student years and professional lives beyond.
Laura White, Digital Learning Co-ordinator