Snowy Mountains Grammar School, near the NSW snowfields in Jindabyne, began its journey from “pen and paper” to digital in 2014.
The school’s unique student body of local students and elite snowsports athletes means it has to cater for a range of abilities and also distance learning requirements of frequently travelling students.
The school was looking for IT solutions that worked both across devices and remotely, so that professional athlete students could continue their studies around their sporting commitments and so their parents could log in and see which textbooks the students were using.
When the school heard about LearningField’s wide range of content and ability to be used across a range of device, their interest was sparked. The digital textbook platform has since become integral to the way teachers teach and students interact with course materials.
Integrating with the LMS
The school’s primary resource platform is the learning management system, Canvas. The school’s IT manager Craig Moore says LearningField has “integrating beautifully” providing “students and teachers with a seamless interaction between their learning management, online assessment and digital resources such as LearningField”.
Head of Humanities/Languages and e-Learning, Callum Ross, agrees, saying students are reassured that they can easily access information via the LMS.
Supporting blended learning
Head of Science Dr Darryl Nelson says the school introduced a blended model for senior science last year. LearningField was a part of that and the approach meant students undertook their readings for each topic before class. Dr Nelson says “there was a significant improvement in their understanding of that topic.”
Teacher Tim Bland says LearningField has allowed him to “almost teach in a different way and flip the classroom.”
The wide choice of resources also supports differentiation in the classroom. Deputy Principal Michael Barton says students can work ahead or work behind depending on ability.
This broad choice of texts has also prevented arguments in the staffroom over which resources to use for a given year level as teachers have access to a large variety of textbooks for each subject and year.
Maths and Science teacher Perry O’Connor says LearningField supports the development of authentic research skills. “Instead of the cut and paste approach with Google, students have to synthesize information and develop their academic skills with LearningField resources,” he says.
Ease of use and local support
The consensus at the school is that LearningField is straight forward and teachers have very quickly mastered the use of the platform.
Craig Moore says a lot of other suppliers direct you to a call centre when you need support, but with LearningField…“we get that direct response and you get to deal with a person on the ground who knows the product and knows the platform”.
Deputy Principal Michael Barton adds, “In the past three years we have been able to evolve with Learningfield and they have been able to listen to what our desires are and evolve with us. We don’t just have a corporate relationship with LearningField but a personal relationship and that’s important to us.”