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Inside Teaching : April 2011
Inside Teaching | April 2011 FEATURE 8 Jay-Z also donated his book Decoded to every student in the school, including the 2010 graduating Year 12 class, and provided copies for the library. Winfrey then invited Canterbury Boys High School staff and students to join the audience for her live show at the Sydney Opera House. Footage from Jay-Z’s visit to the school was shown on big screens. ‘It was great,’ Jay-Z told Winfrey. ‘I see myself in their eyes, people from difficult circumstances. I believe in opportunities.’ Winfrey continued to thrill the students and staff at Canterbury Boys High School by announcing that in addition to the special visit from Jay-Z, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Microsoft would provide the school with computers and software valued at $1 million. The technology The companies will provide each student with an HP Notebook personal computer (PC) with Microsoft Windows technology, plus HP Beats Audio software created by HP in partnership with Dr Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine. Each teacher will also receive a Notebook PC, to help them manage and develop lesson plans and effectively monitor student progress. The school’s library will receive 15 HP Touchsmart Desktop PCs, each with a large touchscreen that allows for fingertip swiping, tapping or dragging. The school music room will receive an HP Envy 14 Beats Edition Notebook PC, the first by HP built specifically with music in mind and engineered to maximise the audio experience. The music room computer will run Beats Audio. The impact With one computer each, the students will benefit from having more interaction than was previously possible in a shared computer lab. The Beats Audio technology will help them integrate their study with activities that they are passionate about, such as music. And because the teachers also receive notebooks, the school can now update the way that teaching, homework and day-to-day lessons are run. Research indicates that ICT is a beneficial teaching tool, with some studies suggesting that integrated technology in the classroom increases students’ concentration, reinforces motivation and facilitates both the development and the autonomy of students. The new technology will benefit the entire school community, according to principal Leslee Mitton. ‘It is exciting for both teachers and students to have 21st- century technology at their fingertips,’ says Mitton. ‘We also expect that it will transform learning for families as they can all access the technology and harness it to their needs from the kitchen table at home,’ she says. The computers will be rolled out at the school after the Easter term break. ‘Once students have become au fait with their new notebooks – possibly after 30 seconds! – we plan to pose a few challenges for individual students and classes so that they can showcase their new learning. Students will possibly be given a term to research and create their project to present at a technology showcase in the following term,’ Mitton explains. She says the school will invite representatives from HP and Microsoft back to see this showcase and to decide which group or individual best meets the criteria set for each challenge. ‘Naturally, we are thrilled to bits at the generosity of all those involved in making this happen,’ Mitton says. ‘We have to move away from a pen-and-paper world into an online world and these gifts make that possible.’ Darren Needham-Walker is the Chief Marketing Officer for Hewlett- Packard Personal Systems Group, South Pacific (Australia and New Zealand). Pictured, Polly Dunning and students at Canterbury Boys High School. Photo © Newspix/Tracee Lea.