Technology as a natural part of learning

1 February 2018

Technology is a natural part of learning at the IIL. In this interview, Adrian Hirst, who takes care of the technological integration, explains our approach.

What are the different tools we use at IIL?

We use a very broad range of general and specialised tools that would run into the hundreds if we were to begin making a list. However, some examples of our key platforms and apps used throughout the school are iTunes U, the Apple productivity and media tools like Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMove and Garageband, coding platforms like Swift Playgrounds and collaborative workspace and sharing tools like the Google environment.

How do we use them?

All staff and students have access to a basic set of essential apps and platforms, such as those mentioned above, which are used on a daily basis for organisation, distribution, content creation, research and study. Then, as projects develop and become specialised, teachers and students may request access to further apps and tools to boost possibilities and creativity. We welcome suggestions and feedback on innovative new tools from students and staff, and the only apps we tend to avoid are pure games – except during the Christmas vacation!

We have just become an Apple Distinguished School, what does that mean?

This is essentially a mark of recognition of the outstanding work in progress which has been undertaken by all of our staff and students to reap the maximum benefits of technology in education, and an invitation from Apple to join an ever-growing community  of innovative educators and learners, where we can share and collaborate on our ideas to help advance proactively in this field.

Why are we doing this?

At the heart of every decision taken at IIL there has always been the fundamental motivation to provide excellence in the teaching and learning experiences of our staff and students. Selectively integrating the very best existing technologies, and looking forwards at emerging opportunities must be at the highest level in our priorities. This is why we drive ahead with such force to examine every possibility and curate only the finest elements for our learning environments.

What do our students, teacher and parents say about it?

One of the most beneficial aspects of the high level of our technology integration is that, while appreciating the vast array of opportunities the school provides, our students, parents and staff have become thoroughly accustomed to the deep integration of technology at IIL. We are proud to have been recognised in these efforts by Apple, and to be invited to join the Distinguished Schools community is the cherry on the cake, and an exciting opportunity for the school.

What is the vision of the IIL in terms of technology integration?

In this 8th year of the 1:1 iPad and MacBook programme, preceded by decades of innovation and development in educational technology, IIL has achieved one of the greatest goals in technology deployment, namely that the technology itself blends perfectly into the environment and becomes almost unnoticeable. In much the same way as the backstage crew in a theatre are never seen, yet their absence would stop the show, our application of educational technology produces outstanding results and effects, yet the infrastructure and tool appears to have vanished.

Adrian Hirst
ICT Teacher, Trainer & Specialist