Part I, confidently posted in February, had a lot to say about our efforts to meet PYP expectations. First re computers and their usage. Well, it looks like this will play out almost as planned. The senior computer room’s days are numbered; and next month all of its computers will be dispersed to the classrooms, from prep to grade 5. Each classroom will receive 2 or more desktop computers, so that students can immediately search information if they have questions. For those times when every child needs a computer, the PG , TK and grades 1 and 2 will use the junior computer room, grades 3 and 4 will use the schools laptops, grade 5 will be urged to bring their own laptops and grade 6 and up must own laptops.
The changes in computing address two concerns of the PYP team. First, our students spend too much time outside their classrooms, in the hands of various specialists. Art and computing are two subjects that can easily be taught in the classroom by our classroom teachers. Some staff PD may be required before our ICT teachers can back off, and our classroom teachers can fully take over their teaching load. Ultimately, at the PYP level, the ICT teachers will teach classroom teachers only, not students, but this may take up to a year to get in place. Second, having several computers in each classroom allows students to immediately follow up on questions as they arise, so students don’t have to wait for computer time to search for answers to their questions, which facilitates the inquiry process and satisfies PYP expectations.
We will attempt to have the whole new system in place before the end of this school year to work out any bugs. Several inconveniences will be necessary if we are to keep to our schedule. For instance upgrading the computers in the junior computer room will mean closing this facility from 25 May until 5 June, and building a partition in the new library (current SD2B) will mean that this class will have to shift next door to the junior music room likely in the first week of June. And the PG and TK will have to forfeit the usage of the junior music room, just when they need it to practice for the end of year performance.
If the laptop program works out well, as assessed after one or two years, hopefully we can extend the laptop program to the lower SD, TK and PG. If this is feasible, we can free up the junior computer room for office space and meeting rooms, which are sorely needed.
The second point concerns the library, and the consolidation of junior and senior libraries into one facility on the second floor. This cannot take place until the holidays. Book purchasing, however, is proceeding, currently outstanding are orders for 12 books from Amazon, 15 volumes from Austral Ed, and one from IBO. Another order is ready for 31 PYP books from Austral Ed and another 12 from Amazon.
This update on change covers mostly change in physical facilities. We now need to articulate our expected outcomes vis a vis improvements in teaching / learning and put in place a suitable method for collecting evidence of their impact.