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25th June 2020

Technology use soars during Learning from Home

The use of online technology skyrocketed across Catholic Education, Diocese of Rockhampton in Term 2 with the move to Learning from Home and introduction of social distancing restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 112 zoom meetings were recorded in February rising to over 8300 in May representing an increase of over 70-fold.

 Catholic Education Chief Information Officer Nigel Wadsworth said the organisation was well positioned to make the most of the versatile technology having already installed the product in 2018.

 “Because Zoom is a cloud-based product, this ensured we could handle these increases in demand and usage without any infrastructure changes or additional management overhead,” Mr Wadsworth said.

 “Other than purchasing additional licenses we didn’t need to do anything to handle the increased usage,” Mr Wadsworth said.

 Mr Wadsworth said for an educational organisation, COVID-19 presented unique challenges.

 "Our priority was to ensure that we continued to provide high quality education to our students, regardless of their location.

 “Along with existing learning management platforms in use across our schools, Zoom provided us with a flexible set of tools that allowed us to continue teaching, presenting, collaborating, and working together from offices, schools, and homes. This included screen sharing, chat, whiteboard, and live streaming as well as the traditional video communication,” Mr Wadsworth said.

 Catholic Education Assistant Director: Teaching and Learning, Mrs Carmel Kriz said the technology was a key component in the design and implementation of effective Learning from Home.

 “Teachers across the board embraced the use of Zoom along with other platforms to creatively engage students with deep, purposeful, curriculum-aligned learning. It also enabled our teachers and leaders to connect effectively with parents and students to maintain a strong sense of belonging,” Mrs Kriz said.

 “These extraordinary times have necessitated innovative technological solutions and there are many effective learnings and practices we will retain and take forward into the future as a result of our experiences,” Mrs Kriz said.

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