In the not so distant past, the role of the teacher was to share their knowledge and the school library or the home’s World Book Encyclopedia contained all the information that mattered. If a student didn’t have an encyclopedia at home they had to wait until the school opened the next morning to access the information.
Computer technology and the internet have made vast resources available. It is estimated that the amount of digital information available today is over one hundred times the total information that existed in the world twenty years ago. The teacher can not longer be the person that knows “everything”.
Our vision at Brookswood is equip our students with the skills and tools to truly be 21st century learners. We aim to break down the classroom walls and make the world part of the learning space for our students. We aim to teach them the skills to take their learning beyond the 65 minute period so that learning takes place whenever and where ever our students want to learn.
Our vision is for our students to be part of an environment where they have the opportunity to explore, innovate, and collaborate with students in their class or experts around the world. We believe that the use of technology will create a culture of digital and global learning, increase the relevance of education in real-world scenarios, and allow for a more individualized, flexible and differentiated learning.
Our vision is that students will construct their own digital learning library, a blend of universal resources and personalized learning tools that fit each student’s learning style. This digital learning library is not turned in or erased at the end of the year but is added to, edited and enhanced that they will one day take with them from Brookswood as their personalized network of resources.
In September 2013, we began a pilot program with two groups of grade 8 students, one French Immersion, the other English. They were enrolled in core subjects together with teachers that altered their teaching styles to take advantage of the opportunities provided by these devices. In 2014 we expanded the program to grade 9 and made our entire French Immersion class part of the CatPack due to the level of demand. In the fall of 2015 we once again expanded the CatPack to now include grades 8 through 10 in both English and the French Immersion program.
Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, flexibility, interaction, productivity, leadership, accessibility. These are the hallmarks of 21st century learning, and we believe that this initiative with provide teachers and students with the tools to make these hallmarks a reality.