WA primary school champions STEM learning - Education Matters Magazine

WA primary school champions STEM learning

At St Jerome’s Primary School in Perth, a series of dedicated technology-inspired staff meetings are helping its teachers to incorporate the latest technologies into their classrooms, to educate the next generation of digital natives.

Principal Helen O’Toole said staff at St Jerome’s needed time to learn and understand the massive array of digital technology that currently exists and these dedicated staff meetings provide staff with better training to use various technologies across different learning areas.

Held each term, these meetings were trialled last year and are now led by the school’s Digital Technology and Science Specialist, Scott Lilleyman; and feature various technology experts as guest speakers.

Mr Lilleyman said effort is taken to ensure each meeting is diverse and engaging for all staff, with at least one idea teachers can bring with them and implement in the classroom.

At the most recent technology meeting at St Jerome’s, staff welcomed Brian Foody from Bamboo, a Perth based tech start-up that has developed a solution for people to invest in cryptocurrency, to free investors from what is a time consuming and complex process.

One of the interesting messages he conveyed was essential skills students will need in the modern workforce, including adaptive problem solving, as well as people skills

“There is no hugging it out in the digital remote world,” said Mr Foody, who shared Bamboo’s journey, from an idea to fruition.

Mr Lilleyman said he hoped that having industry expert visits from companies like Bamboo will build future relationships that can continue to develop skills for teachers, to enhance classroom teaching.

As part of its technology focus, staff from St Jerome’s have taken part in various initiatives, including visits and demonstrations. “We as staff had a visit to an Apple store and took part in one of their ‘Today at Apple’ sessions. This was a valuable experience and the various Apple creative apps demonstrated and the possibilities in the classrooms motivated the staff to think beyond passive consumption-based use of technology to doing more as productive creators in using technology,” said Mr Lilleyman.

“Staff also had a demonstration of the use of Class VR goggles and their impact on student engagement, which led to the school resourcing its digital technology tools with this technology.”