We believe this extraordinary period of transformation in Australia’s schools, both culturally and digitally, represents a unique chance to rapidly shift to student-centric, digital learning channels based on a student’s own aptitudes, competencies and strengths. It gives us a chance to imagine new ways of classroom delivery and analysis of student progress.
Through sophisticated learner analytics, students can work in a communal setting, enjoying all the benefits of social interaction while having teaching and learning experiences tailored to them. They can be supported through areas of the curriculum that they find challenging but also stretched by intensive teacher interaction.
Data insights and digital learning technologies also give us a chance to start addressing a real inequity in teaching and learning across the whole country. In fact, some school leaders have already seen the potential of data-driven systems. Wendy Johnson, principal at Glenunga International High School in Adelaide, has been in the vanguard of using data to improve outcomes for over a decade.
As the case study in the report makes clear, the data solution she built by adapting a powerful business data program has begun to reap the benefits.
“[The data solution] has enabled teachers to personalise their programs rather than teaching to this mythical middle,” Johnson says. “The system pulls all the data together, summarises it, shows us the comparisons and any areas that might need to be focused on. All our teachers see the benefits from doing what they normally would have done on paper. Now, it’s the technology that does the work, not our teachers.”
Johnson’s school is also developing is a ‘flightpath’ for students. “It will mean we’re able to say to students in year eight or nine: if this is what your results now look like, this is what they’re likely to translate into in terms of your Year 12 achievement. And is that what you want? And if it is what you want, then you can keep doing it. But if it’s not what you want, then what do you need to do differently?”