Saint Stephen's College Case Study

How to use technology to improve teaching and learning

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Saint Stephen’s College is considered a leader in using technology to enhance teaching and learning. With the understanding of how a learning environment can influence student performance, the school shows how to create a conducive learning environment through flexible, modern workspaces that support school-wide blended learning.

The school is recognised for its long term, structured and organisation-wide approach to eLearning, which is paying dividends in many areas. It supports flexible, blended and self directed learning strategies for students.

Peter West, Director of eLearning, says the school chose LiteracyPlanet because it is so comprehensive, and aligned with the school’s approach: “When compared to other products LiteracyPlanet offers more in the way of content and is more aligned with our Literacy program’s goals”.

He adds: “The support we have received has been outstanding, including face-to-face professional development and ongoing phone and email support”.

All students from Prep to Year 6 use LiteracyPlanet at school and at home.

In early primary a key use is to help students understand what is a phoneme, and develop their phonological and phonemic awareness. Teachers use it to help reinforce the high frequency words being taught in class.

Preparatory teacher Elizabeth Harrahan says the gamification is good for keeping students engaged, and this leads to better outcomes: “The program gives students the opportunity to engage in literacy tasks in an engaging and entertaining manner. They are learning and don’t even realise they are”.

The school's teaching strategies also emphasise the importance of self directed learning, and one of the aspects Ms Hanrahan and her students enjoy the most is the automated learning mode, which they call 'the map’.

”I absolutely love the map students work through at their own pace. It is highly engaging and motivating for them,” she says.

The program’s flexibility and its clear guides on how to differentiate instruction is another valuable aspect for teachers.

Says Anne Balik, Junior College Curriculum Leader, “LiteracyPlanet provides a differentiated resource to support students in their learning journey by enabling them to work at their own level and at a pace appropriate to them”.

Older students particularly enjoy using the customisable spelling exercises to create games from their own lists, and the gamified elements in the program designed for rewarding students, like the prize wheel.

“The gamified aspects of the program and high quality visuals engage and motivate students to do their best,” says Ms Balik.

Students are particularly excited by the annual word building competition, Word Mania. Their efforts have even earned them a visit from the program’s popular character, Word Monster!

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Location:

Gold Coast, Queensland.

Type:

P-12 co-educational independent.

LiteracyPlanet usage:

P-6 for all literacy skill areas, homework and differentiation.

Why LiteracyPlanet?

Comprehensive content, flexibility and alignment with the Literacy program.

LiteracyPlanet supports students in their learning journey by enabling them to work at their own level and at a pace appropriate to them. The gamified aspects of the program and high quality visuals engage and motivate students to do their best."

Anne Balik, Junior Curriculum Leader.

"The program gives students the opportunity to engage in literacy based tasks in an engaging and entertaining manner. They are learning and don’t even realise they are."

Elizabeth Hanrahan, Teacher.

"I like how our spelling words are put into games and I like the prize wheels. They are fun!."

Student, Year 4.