Posted on 12 May 2016
Ormiston College students took on an unusual but innovative role-reversal at the recent Microsoft Redefining Learning Conference held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, when they displayed their student-driven involvement in digital literacy.
Students from as young as nine years of age, up to seventeen, demonstrated great confidence with the ability to instruct adults. Their audience were all Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE’s) from the Australian and New Zealand Microsoft Showcase Schools, plus some of the top people in that field; Mark Sparvell, Director of Worldwide Showcase School’s Program USA; Anne Taylor, Program Manager, Microsoft New Zealand and Sean Tierney, who is currently the Director of Teaching and Learning Strategy Worldwide. Not only did the students display their capability in problem solving and complex reasoning but also in teamwork. Their exceptional presentations created a most impressive response on social media.
The day prior to the Conference, approximately 60 delegates representing the United States, New Zealand and Australia, plus a Chinese delegation that included educators and students from the Hong Kong Ellen Yeung College for gifted and talented students, arrived at Ormiston College to attend a Redefining Learning Conference School Tour.
The event commenced with a welcome from Mr Brett Webster, the Headmaster. This was followed by classroom visits, ending in the College Centre for Learning and Innovation (CLI) where Mrs Tamara Sullivan, Dean of E-Learning and several teachers had the opportunity to speak on their particular area of teaching and learning. In discussion, research details were released noting that only one in ten teachers are seen to have participated in recent professional development in the area of transferable skills that are vital for students to succeed in the future workplace. It was pointed out that 100% of Ormiston College educators were constantly involved in professional development covering transferable skills.
The Tour program displayed several student-led activities facilitated by College students from both Junior and Secondary School. A high standard of communication skills were demonstrated by the various year levels: Years 9/10, Australian Business Week Simulations, Year 12, Haber Process Software, Year 11, Skype for Business, Year 10, Project Based Learning, Year 1, Minecraft in English and Mathematics, Year 8, Mathematics - Scratch, Year 7, Office Mix, Year 11, Collaborative Technology, Year 4, Genius Hour Project, Years 3 to 6, Code Club, Year 5 to 6, Makerspace Activities and Year 11, STEM Silver Crest Award Projects.
Both the School Tour and the Redefining Learning Conference proved to be an outstanding opportunity for Ormiston College, who, as a recognised Worldwide Microsoft Showcase School, was able to act as mentors to other MIEE’s and educators from Australia and overseas.