This week we extended an open invitation to whanau and friends of our Year 7 and 8 students to come and join in with lessons. For our first such day we were gratified to have 20+ whanau and friends join us for an hour of lessons.
Whanau saw their tamariki engaged in their literacy and numeracy learning, many using their Chromebooks to support their learning. The impact of this technology on learning is becoming better documented as time goes by, often resulting in deeper learning and better engagement.
We have to be realistic and acknowledge that the technology can also result in increased distraction, although of course distraction has always been an issue in classes. I suspect most can recall times when they found themselves staring out the window watching a bird, or a cat, or something else of interest at the time. The answer lies in capturing interest, being vigilant, and educating for responsible use of the technology, all of which take time.
As time goes by our tamariki develop better skills and dispositions, included in which are focus and persistence in their learning.
On top of that, we are happy to acknowledge that we operate in a blended learning environment where pen and paper still sit alongside Chromebooks and iPads. We firmly believe that learning requires the 'right tool for the job'. Sometimes it's a Chromebook, sometimes it's a pen and paper, just as it might be in the workplace and in everyday life.
We were happy to host a small morning tea for whanau, and were able to share preliminary lans for our impending rebuild.
We will be repeating this week's invitation. Whanau are always welcome to come and see what our students are doing with their learning; the power of the trio of student, parent, and school has never been greater. These are exciting times ahead.