Home' Aurora : Aurora December 2012 Contents 11
www.mn.catholic.org.au Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
By SIOBHAN MCALARY
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Kindergarten students at a Newcastle school are at least as comfortable with iPads as they
are with crayons and paper, and for those who struggle to learn, the new technology is an
THE KINDERGARTEN CLASS at St
John's Lambton is diligently learning
to read in a dynamic 21st century
However, some of the 600,000 words of
the English language (according to the
Oxford English Dictionary, second edition)
are being absorbed from the interactive
screens of iPads as an engaging tool,
among more traditional methods which
combine to enhance literacy learning.
In the second decade of the 21st
century e-learning (electronic learning)
is beginning to overtake textbooks
and whiteboards as the mainstay for
students learning not only English, but
every other school subject as well.
Teacher Jenny Howard explained,
"Laptops and iPads are just another way
to engage children in learning.
"Our iPad program has been running
for about eleven months and we share
ten iPad-2s as needed throughout the
school. We also have a few parents who
graciously volunteer their time here."
The two class teachers
download apps (application
software designed for
mobile devices) onto the
"It's been great for our
children who have learning
difficulties. We've noticed
with the iPads they are more
motived and involved in the tasks.
"Learning is still key. Technology assists
learning," she stressed.
However, 'old school' learning has
not completely fallen by the wayside.
Although entering the brave new world
of e-learning, with its tablet computers
and smartboards, is a priority for St
John's, quality teaching that motivates
and involves the children is still the
backbone for learning the syllabus.
Traditional classroom tools, that do not
require a battery or recharger, are easily
used in conjunction with their shiny new
Teacher Terry Haddow added that
"engaged learning" is the central aim
and desired outcome of the school's
economic and educational investment in
"We are hoping to expand the iPads into
He said the response to the integration
of laptops and iPads into the curriculum
and classrooms "has been phenomenal".
"The support from our Parents &
Friends has been fantastic. They
were unsure at first, but we've
been showcasing the students'
work with these devices all
year and so they've been able
to see the potential of all this
technology and how important it is
for their children's future," he said.
"St John's has always been fairly
orientated towards technology.
"It's great for our teachers too because
they are now working in a much more
collaborative fashion than before."
Jenny reflected, "Kids are not scared
of technology like adults. They adapt
to it very quickly and use it in ways we
wouldn't think of. It's amazing what
they can do. We actually learn from
(l-r) Kinder students Lucy Vandenberg, Elka Macaulay and Sienna Wagner
mastering the language with the help of their school's iPads.
is still the
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