Home' Independence : Independence Vol 34 No 1 May 2009 Contents 40 Independence Volume 34 No. 1
The Hills Grammar School,
The Hills Grammar School is a
coeducational day school with 1100
students from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Following a review of its K-12 library in
2006 Hills Grammar decided to replace
the traditional library model with
integrated learning services in order to
meet the ever increasing challenges of
education in the 21st century.
At the start of the 2007 school year,
the school launched a new Centre for
Excellence in Learning, which we call
NEXUS. The overriding tenet of NEXUS
is to be the ‘hub’ that links and connects
the whole school community (students,
teachers and parents) through research,
knowledge and learning involving a wide
range of collaborative practices.
The services offered within NEXUS now
include ICT Integration, Professional
Learning K-12, Scholarship Program
Years 7-12 and Careers and Tertiary
To support the notion of strong
collaboration, the role of the traditional
teacher librarian was restructured to
typify a more contemporary and evolving
role. This position is called Faculty
Liaison Teacher-Librarian. The Librarian’s
role moved to a more knowledge-centred
role of Research Librarian.
ICT integration provides unprecedented
opportunities for collaboration,
autonomous work and cross-curricular
projects. Nexus allow us to centrally build
the intellectual capital required to remain
continually conversant with new technol-
ogies and their implications in the
educational environment and to maximise
the opportunities they offer. Research
shows the work of classroom teachers is
greatly improved when they collaborate
with an information specialist when
planning curriculum and associated
assessment tasks, specifically where
information literacy outcomes are
The collaborative approach in NEXUS
was introduced through classes being
timetabled into the four teaching spaces.
Teachers are encouraged to share their
teaching time with an information
professional who, unlike the classroom
teacher, has no accountability for
students’ learning outcomes in terms
of the assessment and reporting cycle.
The ICT Co-ordinator role in Nexus has
been instrumental in the design of specific
ICT programs and services to support the
professional development and training of
staff in the planning, preparation and
presentation of lessons using blogs,
forums, wikis, and podcasts of many
of the emerging Web 2.0 technologies.
For example, Year 3 students were
learning about lifecycles. They came into
NEXUS over a four week period and were
taught to use software that ‘morphed’ one
image into another and made a brief
movie. The students then learnt how
to use voice over software to tell a story.
They then wrote a story and created
a web page with the movie and the voice
over. Once this was done they uploaded
their files onto a page in Moodle, accessed
through the school’s intranet.
The end result was that when the students
logged on at home their parents could
access their child’s (possibly first ever)
webpage featuring a movie of their child
with their child’s story and their voice
over telling the story.
Moodle has been a successful tool for
collaboration between the teachers and
information professionals. ICT Integra-
tion introduced Moodle in 2007 and it
was quickly taken up by staff as a
successful platform to engage students
in deep learning exercises.
One example of how we use it is for
a Year 11 group work exercise where
students watch an Inanimate Alice story
online, then respond to questions on a
wiki. The students then go onto a forum
and discuss among the class group their
thoughts on the story based on the
questions they responded to on the wikis.
It’s now commonplace in NEXUS to
see students using digital and media rich
formats to design web pages and photo
essays, to create and author podcasts and
to animate stories.
The Careers and Tertiary Awareness
Information Centre within Nexus carries
Inside Nexus at Hills Grammar.
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