The Learning Technologies Department works to ensure that staff, students and parents have access to the latest technology tools to help foster student success and meet the diverse needs of 21st Century learners. In an organization with more than 10,000 computers, 4,000 staff members, 40,000 students, and well over 100 applications being actively used on a variety of computer types of varying ages by users of varying levels of expertise, there is always a great need for a variety of types of technological support. The Learning Technologies Department also provides hardware and software support through a variety of methods.
Today’s students are different from the students that our system was created to educate. The new digital learners are immersed in technology and they expect to use digital tools as part of their educational experience. Brain based research provides evidence that today’s generation of students are “wired” differently than previous generations. Instructional strategies are evolving to reflect the needs of 21st century learners. The question we need to ask is not about what equipment to purchase or install, but rather what skills do our students need to succeed. The class of 2020 is currently sitting in our primary classrooms. These students will graduate from a learning environment and culture that espouses 21st century skill sets and tools.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board is a leading school Board in Ontario with a clear focus on student and staff success. We continue to innovate and adapt to reflect the changing needs of 21st Century learners. We recognize that we are no longer preparing students for the world that we grew up in; we are preparing them to be contributing digital citizens in a new 21st Century environment.We are making the right strategic moves to implement the necessary changes that will ensure that our students are well prepared to be contributing digital citizens when they graduate.
"Our vision is one where all staff and students in the Ottawa Catholic School Board have the skills they need to excel in the 21st century. We will achieve student success by meeting the diverse needs of 21st century learners."
Our Board implemented the Blackboard Learning Portal in 2011, working towards engaging our students in exciting new ways. We are reaching them on their terms and devices—and connecting more effectively, keeping students informed, involved, and collaborating together. The new learning portal has helped streamline processes, automate tasks, empower teachers, boost parental involvement, and engage every student with personalized learning experiences. We are still customizing the experience for our school community as we bring everyone on board, and are looking forward to implementing additional features which will help us communicate more effectively with one another.
Learning Technologies is working on energy management initiatives with the conversion of network equipment to energy efficient systems. The department implemented several automated systems to ensure the appropriate shut-down of equipment, realizing additional energy savings.