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North Melbourne Primary School Digital Story

North Melbourne Primary School is an inner city school community of 850+ students and more than 60 teachers. Our student catchment areas including North and West Melbourne, Parkville, the CBD and the Docklands, bring a broad diversity of cultures and backgrounds to our learning environments.

The school is steeped in history, with original buildings dating back to 1874. The school promotes the use of flexible learning spaces, personalised learning and embedded technologies.

We have been successfully running a Bring Your Own (BYO) iPad program for Grade 3-­6 students for eight years. Technology is a fundamental part of our Strategic Plan to create highly engaged, personalised learning environments.

In April 2020, North Melbourne Primary was one of five Victorian schools selected to take part in Apple Education's Inspire Innovation program. Inspire Innovation is a program designed to enhance teacher practice, build capacity in schools and ensure our school’s investment in technology is making a positive impact.

Over the following six months, we worked closely with an Apple Professional Learning Specialist to explore new, creative ways to develop our practice of teaching and learning with iPad. Here's a snapshot of what we discovered...

Emma Lawrence, Prep Teacher

My focus was to use Clips to provide instructional videos for my Prep students while they worked remotely. I have found that students responded best to videos and were more engaged and motivated in their learning.

Over the past two terms, I have been able to experiment with Clips on a daily basis by creating videos for my morning messages and for lesson introductions. While my knowledge of Clips was basic at first, Laura provided lots of inspiration and advice on how to use the app to best suit my needs as a teacher and the needs of my students.

There were minimal challenges that I faced while using Clips. I had never used the app before but found it very intuitive and straightforward. I used the app on my phone but I think it would be using Clips on the iPad as trimming or editing some of the videos that I filmed were tricky due to the size of my screen!

Using Clips during the remote learning period inspired me to change my instructional approach and make engaging videos that would not have been possible in the classroom. Students looked forward to a new Clips video every day and some have even downloaded it themselves to experiment with.

Mike Griffiths, Year 3 Teacher

The Inspire innovation Programme was a fantastic experience, and I learned so much. So much so that to try and squeeze it into a paragraph would be rubbish!

SO, here are some videos that capture my experiences and some of the amazing work my students produced. Hope you enjoy!

My students absolutely loved Clips too... here's why Abbey thinks that Clips is great!

I can't wait to get back into the classroom to continue to explore the possibilities with our new Apple skills!

Ben Lepore, Year 5 Teacher

The focus of the Year 5 team was to engage our students in creative ways to present their work moving away from writing. To begin this term, we asked the students to complete a snapshot video reflection of their school holidays using Clips. To further enhance their engagement, we also introduced weekly Virtual Excursions. We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to continue using Clips, as well as Keynote, for students to be able to reflect on the excursions as well as post their thoughts and further questions they had around each excursion topic.

As we were getting written reflections of various lengths and detail, we wanted to get increased feedback from the students around their takeaways from each virtual excursion. With the knowledge that the students had previously been introduced to Clips and Keynote in their specialist Technology classes, we decided to ask the students to use those previously acquired skills to create a visual element to their reflections.

This is how we went about it, and some of the challenges we faced:

We were really impressed with the students' creations. Here are some examples of what they made, using Clips and Keynote:

The outcomes for us were looking at boosting student engagement through the exploration of apps including Keynote and Clips. Giving students the confidence and knowledge to present their work in different formats will hopefully lead to them continuing to create content using digital platforms.

The feedback from the students was really positive:

Going forward, I will continue to explore various digital platforms and apps that can be used to enhance my practice and student learning outcomes. Giving my students the power of knowledge around the availability of digital resources to present their work will be at the forefront of my future teaching.

The Inspire Innovation program has allowed me share my knowledge with my team, who have also now started to experiment and explore with creating lessons on various digital platforms.

Amanda Stevens, Year 6 Teacher

Our focus in Year 6 was to embed the students' knowledge of Keynote and skills learnt in specialist Technology classes into cross-curricular learning experiences. This was to give the students more time and exposure to consolidate their skills, which in turn would help make them more confident and increase levels of engagement.

In particular, students used a specially tailored Keynote journal to document the process of achieving their SMART goal in their Passion Project over the term. As they documented using the writing prompts in the slides, they were encouraged to make the template their own and incorporate animated transitions and Magic Moves to enhance the engagement of the audience with their content.

Student working on the Keynote template
Student beginning to personalise the template and use Magic Move animations to engage the audience

The outcomes that we were aiming for included increasing student confidence to navigate around Keynote (including accessing and sharing Keynote presentations and templates within Google Classroom and Apple Classroom), more engagement with content, more skills to enable creative presentation of content, and consolidation of skills learnt in Tech lessons.

The main challenge was getting students comfortable with accessing relatively new technology remotely. I ended up recording a how-to video for accessing the Keynote template and uploading it through Google Classroom.

Here are a few examples of the students' journals:

The feedback from students on using Keynote for their projects was positive:

Going forward, I will prioritise liaising with the specialist Technology teacher to provide more opportunities for a cross-curricular/transdisciplinary approach, which will support students to refine their skills. As a result of our work through this project, teachers are feeling more confident to implement Keynote in their lesson planning.

Joe Grabin, Digital technologies Teacher and leader

Our Apple learning journey coincided with the start of remote and flexible learning in Victorian Schools. Student wellbeing and engagement became an ever more important focus. It was a perfect opportunity for me to introduce Keynote (specifically animation using Keynote) to achieve this.

I wanted to give students the opportunity to learn something completely new, something that allowed for creativity and individual learning paths, but also something practical that could be used in all aspects of the curriculum. Students had not used Keynote before, so it was an entirely new app for them to explore with plenty of scope for use during remote learning and beyond.

Here are some more examples of what the students created:

The students have responded really positively to learning new skills with Keynote:

I believe that we have just scratched the surface with the possibilities of using Keynote. In the future I plan to explore more of its features with students - such as the creation of interactive books, more advanced animation with rotoscoping and animated gifs.

Thank you to the Apple Education Team for helping us begin this learning journey!

Working with an Apple Professional Learning Specialist over the last six months has been an invaluable experience for our teachers and our students. The knowledge we have gained will continue to be shared throughout the school which will continue to increase student engagement and creativity.

To find out more about our digital learning program, please visit our website or contact us to arrange a school tour.