Apple has revealed the story of an Australian primary school that put technology, particularly iPad, at the heart of its work to keep students engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic. St Therese Catholic Primary School in Sadleir Miller has students from 50 different cultures, 73 percent of whom are from non-English-speaking backgrounds and three-quarters of whom have English as their second language. Principal Michelle McKinnon explained how years of integrating technology helped drive innovation and creativity amongst her students, as well as guide them through the pandemic.
“The creativity of our students really hit us — they were so clever at sharing what they’d learned,” says McKinnon. “Students shared their own passions and interests more freely in the remote setting, revealing previously undiscovered talents and strengths.” A self-directed learning program invited children to showcase their talents by selecting their own research topics while they studied at home. Using Keynote, iMovie, Pages, Text to Speech, and stop-motion animation, students shared their findings on subjects as wide-ranging as the Great Barrier Reef, painter Vincent van Gogh, and disease prevention in horses. During lockdown, students used the Seesaw app to create digital schoolwork portfolios and share them with teachers. These proved so popular with students, teachers, and families that they are now standard practice at St Therese.