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Datacom supports learning that never stops

13 September 2016

Mount Sinai College is a modern, independent Orthodox Jewish Primary School with 300 students aged from preschool through to Year 6.

The Sydney-based school supports a disciplined and collaborative teaching community, incorporating the best of Australian and Jewish heritage to instil social and ethical values that develop respect for self and others.

The Challenge

Mount Sinai has always aimed to prepare students for the demands of a fast-changing world. In 2011, the students and teachers first started using iPads in classrooms. This was so successful in enabling creative and connected learning that the school began planning a 1:1 iPad programme for all students.

In 2012, the College carried out an extensive overview of its hardware, infrastructure and support needs to ensure that the 1:1 iPad programme would be at the forefront of technology use in the classroom. Apart from the obvious technical requirements, one of the crucial building blocks was to enable teachers to effectively integrate iPads into their work.

The school prides itself on the quality of its education and relies entirely on self-funding. Therefore, it was important that the College maximised its investment, requiring a costeffective, professional learning plan that would enhance the learning experience of both students and teachers, and also satisfy the needs of parents.

The Solution

In late 2012, Mount Sinai approached Datacom to take advantage of their technical expertise in the education sector and gain a deeper understanding of how they could offer the most beneficial, connected learning solutions to teachers and students.

One of the crucial building blocks put in place by the school was an extensive Professional Learning programme to help target the integration of iPads into the classroom.

Datacom was able to use its depth of experience working in the education sector to guide and mentor the college, working alongside teachers, facilitating workshops and tailoring a programme to meet individual needs. While teachers were the major target, parent workshops were also implemented to ensure technology was brought more actively into classrooms and that a culture of ‘learning for all’ was supported.

Additionally, Mount Sinai was able to leverage the broad experience Datacom has working with schools in other states of Australia to develop and implement a flexible programme that while centred on the iPad also incorporated a range of technologies, including laptops, netbooks and smartboards.

“We are extremely proud that every child in the College, from Year K to Year 6, has their own iPad ... teaming with Datacom has been great for us in this process, allowing us to expand our knowledge and benefit from the broad experience that they can offer as a mentor and guide."
- Richard Prowse – Primary and ICT Coordinator, Mount Sinai College

Results

As a progressive school, Mount Sinai has gradually moved through a series of learning evolutions, starting with a lab model, to a mobile laptop model, and now to a tablet model, featuring the iPad.

Sinec then, there has been a measurable change in the way classrooms are working, with increased interaction between students and teachers; more creativity as students use multimedia tools to collect and present their work; and greater student independence as iPads provide them with information and learning tools at their fingertips.

The teaching faculty has also recognised the benefits in using technology to interact more easily with students and regularly share discoveries of new apps and processes with their colleagues.

The school has been so successful that it has now become a leading example of connected learning, hosting visits from local and international schools. In March 2014, Mount Sinai College became recognised as an Apple Distinguished School.