Using technology to enhance 21st Century teaching and learning in Curro Schools
Curro is a network of schools located in South Africa, consisting of 145 schools divided in 59 campuses. Having almost 3K educators for more than 52K students, excellence is a must-have attribute for this network: however, its dimensions force the management to implement any innovation on a small scale.
In this case, the aim of Curro Schools network was to strongly adopt technology to create a perfect digital learning environment and foster the 21st Century teaching and learning approaches: this had to be done step by step and in a controlled environment, in order to minimize any risk related to these changes.
For this reason, the classroom digitalization started with a pilot project involving only 5 schools – located in Johannesburg – and addressed to refresh the learning experience both for students and teachers, through the modernisation of the schools’ IT infrastructures and the improvement of related curriculum resources.
To reach this goal, educators and learners started using the apps included in the Office 365 Suite: Teams, OneNote, Sway, Forms and Stream. Especially Teams and OneNote have resulted to be the most useful to support educators and learners in becoming more confident with technology and its impact on learning experience.
Microsoft Teams is a tool which offers a space to communicate (1-to-1 or in a group) and to collaborate, also by sharing documents and files: it is a very useful app to better manage common projects, because it facilitates communication, engagement and discussion among people that are involved.
Microsoft OneNote is instead a managerial tool conceived to be used mainly by the staff of educators. Also this tool is ideal to foster cooperation, but it is more focused on providing a collaboration space rather than communication. Furthermore, it enhances content creation like – for example – drawing interactive math graphs, or simply content storage, allowing teachers and students to create digital libraries, which are easier and funnier to consult.