From the Assistant Principal

This week Year 7 students have been through a “boot camp” to introduce them to the digital platform used at Bethany College, and this familiarisation will continue throughout this term and next. There have been some concerns raised about a student’s reliance on digital technology. Technology is, as they say, “here to stay”, and as a community it is important for us to understand how to use it effectively as a tool to improve our lives, and in particular our learning. For parents wanting more information on how to keep their daughter’s safe in an online environment, the following government website is a great starting point with sensible tips for families. http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Teens.aspx                        

While thorough research is in its early stages, some early evidence indicates that it is important to develop and retain both paper and digital literacy skills, and that is why the college adopts a blended environment. There are some tasks greatly enhanced by technology, and others not.  Maintaining handwriting skills, including cursive writing is important and not simply because exams such as NAPLAN and HSC are at present heavily reliant on handwriting skills. Writing notes and responses by hand is a legitimate way to study and retain information. Learning to touch type is also beneficial and there are many free touch type websites available. What is relevant  is that we are all different, and our level of comfort with technology and online learning varies. The concept of ‘digital natives’ has been debunked (Bennett, Maton & Kervin, 2008) and we do not assume that all students are comfortable with technology. Instead it is true that different students, like us, will be at different points along this path. Students need to keep both sets of skills up and discern what works best for them, and usually it is a combination of both. If you would like to read further on this topic, I have included an interesting link below.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=reading-paper-screens.

 Some reminders:

  • All students 7-10 should have purchased Bethany sport socks by the start of week 7.
  • Bethany Open Day: Tuesday 10th March- early dismissal for students not assisting.
  • Bethany Day: Friday 13th March; Theme – “Together Forever”.

○     Students are reminded that they are permitted to wear smart casual clothing that is appropriate for mass to school: flat covered shoes; no short shorts or skirts, no midriff tops and capped sleeves. These guidelines have been clearly communicated to students, and any students not compliant will be required to stay at school and engage in private study until 4pm. Students are able to change into Bethany Day outfits after mass.

○     Students have been reminded to return notes to Year Coordinators by Friday 6/3 if parents wish them to be dismissed from Carss Park, as we need to organise the correct number of buses to transport students back to the College. Any students who have not returned notes by the due date will be required to return to the College by bus.

 

Jacinta Russo
Assistant Principal