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Westbourne Park Primary School

24 Jun

By Tara Hendry, Deputy Principal

No…..and yes.

The rapid growth in technology has changed the landscape and the future for our students. They now live in a world where knowledge is readily available and there is a barrage of multimedia, connectivity and opportunity. Disruptive technologies (a term coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen to describe a new technology that unexpectedly displaces an established technology) continue to change the way we live.  Examples of disruptive technologies include microwaves, LED TVs, mobile phones and tablets.

Many jobs that can be automated are, and will continue to be. This has seen a significant change in what our students will be doing when they leave their schooling. With the rapid growth in technology, many of the jobs of the future are yet to be realized.

So what skills do our students need for the 21st Century?  Think back to the educators from 30 years ago.  Could they possibly predict the world in which our students now live?  The connectivity of the internet, mobile devices, wafer-thin TVs, etc could not be imagined, nor could the impact innovation and technologies have had on, not only the workforce, but the world in which we live.  The next 10 years will see technology and innovation growing exponentially. This is an uncertain future.  Our students need to be able to adapt quickly to change.

Coupled with this are issues around pollution, sustainability and problems that our world and society face.  We need innovators who can be ‘problem-finders’ not just problem-solvers.  21st Century skills include:








So when we look at Westbourne Park Primary School we ask is 21st century learning just about our iPads?  Are ‘screens’ detrimental to our students?  We believe the answer is no.  Anyone who has worked with students and iPads is instantly amazed by how the iPads expand the students’ creativity, speed and ability to, not only consume, but to create.  Learning has a great opportunity to be personalised.

However the iPads are just a tool (albeit an amazing one!).  Their purpose is to make learning accessible for students, to increase engagement and provide them an opportunity to innovate.  They alone are not the magical ‘answer’.




As we work continue to work with Lee Crockett (our 21st Century learning guru) we build our students’ ability to be global citizens – adapting to change, innovating, solving problems, collaborating and communicating.  Lee’s 21st Century Fluencies are an excellent resource for preparing our students to navigate this ever changing landscape.



Our commitment is to the holistic nature of learning.  Our students still need a firm foundation of core skills, literacy and numeracy are fundamental.  We also ask ourselves; Are our students being active? Thoughtful? Using their Habits of Mind? Thinking critically? Asking questions? Living our FRESH values?

This wonderful clip from Google Education, is well worth watching