Drummond Memorial Public School

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					                                             Microsoft Education
                                             Customer Solution Case Study

                                             Australia schools collaborate to create a truly
                                             connected learning experience

Overview                                     “We had created a community of learners. The sense of
Country or Region: Australia
Industry: Education                          achievement, purpose, and pride was uplifting…many
                                             students commented that the Partners in Learning
Customer Profile
Drummond Memorial Public School is a         project had become the most enjoyable experience in
medium-sized urban school in Armidale
(population: 25,000). Of its 110 students,   their school lives.” Michael Wilson, Team Leader, Drummond Memorial PS
60% are Aboriginal. The school struggles                        Michael Wilson, Team Leader, Drummond Memorial Public School
with socio-economic challenges.
                                             Drummond Memorial Public School (Drummond PS), an urban
Business Situation                           school in Armidale, Australia, began its Connected, Creating,
To create a connected learning
environment, partner schools would need
                                             Collaborating program in 2006. Working with Microsoft Partners
to bridge racial, social, and economic       in Learning, the two and a half year partnership between
divides, as well as address varying ICT
skill levels in teachers and students.
                                             Drummond PS and three other remote schools comprised an
                                             effort to develop more creative uses of information and
Working with Partners in Learning and
                                             communication technologies (ICT) in the classroom, bridge
using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007,      social and economic differences, and create a truly connected
other Web 2.0 tools, Drummond PS and
partners connected students and staff in
                                             learning experience. Using Microsoft® SharePoint® Server 2007
a true collaboration of sharing and          and other Web 2.0 products such as wikis and blogs, students
                                             and teachers collaborated with partner schools to develop their
Benefits                                     ICT skills and learn from each other.
 Attendance increased up to 98%.
 Technology skills increased in 100% of
 Use of online ICT increased to 90% of
  teachers and students.
 Text comprehensive increased among
  some groups to 100%.
 100% of participating students would
  like to do it again.
                                        Situation                                       launched a nationwide program to
“The excursion program                  Drummond Memorial Public School is a            investigate ways for senior elementary
                                        medium-sized school in the large country        students to shape their own learning and to
provided purposeful                     town of Armidale, in New South Wales.           bridge the disconnect between ICT used at
learning and social                     Drummond PS teaches children from               home and in school.
                                        kindergarten through grade 6. Of its 110
experiences … and led to                students, 60 percent are Aboriginal and the     As part of this program, participating
                                        socio-economic status of the school is low.     schools were provided with project
a huge amount of                                                                        management, mentoring, and expert
published material.”                    Although Drummond PS already had a high         consultant coordination by DK2. Microsoft
                                        local profile regarding innovative use of ICT   provided funding for ICT innovation,
                                        (information and communication                  complimentary travel to forums and
Michael Wilson, Team Leader, Drummond   technology), much of that was in the use of     conferences, and access to tools like
Memorial Public School                  CD ROMs, interactive whiteboards, and           SharePoint Server 2007. The NSW DET
                                        other teaching materials. The school            provided up relief days for the 2006/2007
                                        wanted to create a more connected               school year.
                                        learning environment with other schools,
                                        and use ICT more creatively. However, there     “(Partners in Learning) is committed to
                                        were significant hurdles.                       education. They have provided an
                                                                                        opportunity that my teachers wouldn’t have
                                        Drummond PS and its partner schools             experienced otherwise. I’m honored to
                                        suffered from economic isolation or             have had Partners in Learning as a partner,”
                                        disadvantages, such as widely disparate ICT     said Jim White, a Regional Director for the
                                        skill levels among teachers and students,       NSW DET.
                                        and large physical distances between
                                        physical locations. They also needed to         The partnership
                                        overcome a resistance to change and a           Wilson was put in charge of Drummond’s
                                        reluctance to accept multimedia as a            program because of his previous
                                        legitimate educational tool. Yet another        experience directing integrated ICT
                                        challenge was the social and racial             activities in the school and district.
                                        differences among students, since more
                                        than half of the students at Drummond PS        “I wanted to provide meaningful
                                        were Aboriginal, while partner schools were     opportunities for the students to
                                        completely non-Aboriginal.                      communicate with each other and to
                                                                                        publish their work using a range of media
                                        “Aboriginal Australians are the single most     in a variety of genres. I wanted the teaching
                                        disadvantaged group in the community.           staff involved to see the creative
                                        There are still lots of barriers—social,        possibilities that ICTs offered their
                                        economic, and cultural—between                  students,” said Wilson.
                                        indigenous and other Australians,” said
                                        Michael Wilson, a teacher at Drummond PS.       The project was titled “Connecting,
                                                                                        Creating, Collaborating. Connected For
                                        Solution                                        Life.” Three small, remote schools were
                                        In 2006, the NSW Department of Education        invited to join. All three had few students
                                        and Training (NSW DET), the Australian          and no Aboriginal students:
                                        Council for Educational Research (ACER),             Yarrowitch PS—20 students, 90 minute
                                        consulting group DK2, and Microsoft                   drive from Armidale. A mostly rural
                                               and farming community with some                  Weekly discussions covering topical
                                               affluent families.                                issues and focusing on moral choices
“I have enjoyed going on                      Niangala PS—12 students, 90 minutes               and value decisions.
                                               from Armidale. A rural farming and               The creation of student blogs, for both
excursions, making                             mining community with a mix of                    individuals and groups.
podcasts and making                            affluent families and poor, isolated             Wiki-driven, shared writing projects.
                                               families.                                        Student-produced video and podcast
movies. I think it is great                   Rocky River—36 students, 30 minutes               advertisements for their schools and
                                               from Armidale. A mix of alternate                 home areas.
to be able to                                  lifestyle, professional, and academic            An excursion-based experiential
communicate with other                         families, making it more multicultural            learning program where each school
                                               than the other two schools.                       would host the others locally.
schools.”                                                                                       Visits to the Armidale Film and
                                          Connecting, Creating, Collaborating                    Television School.
Jake Plowes, Student, Drummond Memorial
                                          The project focused on students in 4th
Public School
                                          through 6th grade. Seventy students               Benefits
                                          participated, with 55 percent of these            The final result of the two and a half year
                                          identified as Aboriginal and attending            project was a truly connected learning
                                          development, teacher support, interaction         community. Students and teachers bridged
                                          between students from different schools,          social and racial divides by creating
                                          and writing opportunities. But not all of         friendships and bonds through excursions
                                          their early efforts succeeded.                    and online collaboration.

                                          “Many of the earliest attempts at                 “We had created a community of learners.
                                          connectivity failed. For example, it soon         The sense of achievement, purpose and
                                          became obvious that chat rooms don’t              pride was uplifting. On their blogs many of
                                          necessarily work very well for eleven year        the students commented that the Partners
                                          olds who hardly know each other and will          in Learning project had become the most
                                          not wait their turn. So the project retained      enjoyable experience of their school lives,”
                                          a sense of flexibility, almost aimlessness for    said Wilson.
                                          the first six months or so. There was still the
                                          feeling that the connectedness and the            Starting as part of the wider national
                                          sense of a community of learners was not          program provided inspiration and
                                          really happening,” said Wilson.                   authenticity, in addition to a place to
                                                                                            discuss ideas and find solutions to
                                          The turning point                                 problems.
                                          In June 2007, the team met in what was
                                          essentially a crisis meeting. Wilson              The excursion aspect
                                          proposed changes to the plan and the              Students and teachers from the partner
                                          team adopted the idea of using Microsoft          schools met regularly, getting to know each
                                          SharePoint Server 2007 as the central             other well and forming friendships. Each
                                          learning gateway. A new plan was outlined:        school took turns hosting excursions to
                                              Regular Web-based research projects,         special places in the area. Host students
                                               with results presented using                 planned and organized the activities.
                                               multimodal applications the students         Students were then required to post
                                               were learning how to use.                    reports and videos using a wide range of
                                                                                            technologies to the central SharePoint
                                        Server 2007 location. Students used                 publishing, Internet research, and use
                                        discussion forums to comment on and                 of peripheral tools such as cameras.
                                        critique each other’s work.                        The ability to develop a Microsoft
“(Partners in Learning) is                                                                  Office PowerPoint® presentation grew
                                        “The excursion program provided                     from 20 to 99 percent.
committed to education.                 purposeful learning and social experiences         The ability to identify the purpose of a
They have provided an                   that meant something to the students and            text grew from 40 to 75 percent.
                                        led to a huge amount of published                  The ability of Aboriginal students to
opportunity that my                     material, providing a catalyst for the              identify similes and metaphors in a
                                        successful learning and social outcomes             descriptive piece of writing and write
teachers wouldn’t have                  achieved,” said Wilson.                             using more complex imagery grew
experienced otherwise.                                                                      from 5 to 100 percent.
                                        Jake Plowes, a student at Drummond PS,             At the start of the program, only 10
I’m honored to have had                 agreed. “I have enjoyed going on                    percent of Drummond students and
                                        excursions, making podcasts and making              teachers could explain what a blog,
Partners in Learning as a               movies. I think it is great to be able to           wiki, or voicethread was. By the end,
partner.”                               communicate with other schools. It is also          90 percent could use these
                                        fantastic to get to know the [other] kids.”         applications.
Jim White, Regional Director, NSW DET                                                      When surveyed, 97 percent of the
                                        The culmination of the project was a series         students regarded the skills they had
                                        of visits to the Armidale Film and Television       learned to be useful for their future
                                        School, where experts led the students              schooling.
                                        through every aspect of film making. The           97 percent of the students said they
                                        students prepared short projects that they          would like to be involved in a similar
                                        filmed, edited, and uploaded to showcasing          project in the future.
                                        Web sites.
                                                                                        “Before the program, computers meant
                                        “I found the students were very excited         either work or games, and then after it, we
                                        because this was something new,                 learned much, much more of what you can
                                        something they hadn’t heard of before. The      do with them,” said Sonya Tadman, a
                                        students from here just love going onto the     student at Drummond PS.
                                        computers and they also enjoy going on
                                        excursions and meeting other students,”         “Many students identified the fact that they
                                        said Pam Miller, a teacher at Niangala          had learned about and from each other,
                                        Public School.                                  enjoyed reading each other’s postings on
                                                                                        the site, and felt more confident about their
                                        Increased attendance and skills                 ability to participate and learn. [Student]
                                        The benefits of the program were                surveys paint a picture of the explosive
                                        substantial:                                    development of technology skills, self
                                            Participating student attendance at        confidence and purposeful learning as the
                                             Drummond PS rose from 89 to 94             project proceeded,” said Wilson.
                                             percent. Attendance on excursion days
                                             and training days was 98 percent.          Innovative Teachers Award
                                            100 percent of the students showed         In 2008, Wilson won the NSW Innovative
                                             marked improvement in technology           Teacher Award for his work on the
                                             skills such as keyboard use, desktop       connected learning program and his long
                                                                                        term commitment to the integration of
For More Information                                  technology into teaching and learning. He       Microsoft Partners in Learning
For more information about Microsoft                  also received a scholarship and several         For more information on how the Microsoft
products and services, call the Microsoft             other accolades.                                Partners in Learning initiative is increase
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                                                                access to technology and improve its use in
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                   “Being an innovative teacher has opened         learning, please visit:
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-               my world in so many ways. Most        
2495. Customers in the United States and              importantly, being an innovative teacher
Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing                means encouraging your learners to take
can reach Microsoft text telephone                    risks with the way they learn. We can all       For more information about Partners in
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234.                 learn so much from each other,” said            Learning in Australia, visit
Outside the 50 United States and                      Wilson.                               
Canada, please contact your local
Microsoft subsidiary. To access                       The future of the program
information using the World Wide Web,                 Although the national program officially
go to:                                                ended in 2008, an online Gifted and                                     Talented project continues to run across
                                                      the region. Drummond PS has continued its
For more information about DK2                        partnership with Niangala PS. Their
products and services, call 61 3 9370                 students remain in regular contact and
0658 or visit the Web site at:                        continue to use SharePoint Server 2007 as                                        a collaborative, creative, and showcasing
                                                      site. A teacher’s communication network
For more information about Drummond                   was established with online timetables,
Memorial Public School products and                   Wilson has also begun working with ten
services, call 02-6772-3736 or visit the              other local primary schools to develop a
Web site at:                                          new learning community using a
www.drummondmemorial.moss.educatio                    collaborative SharePoint Server 2007 space.
                                                      “There has been significant change in
For more information about MARVIN                     school programs as a result of our project.
software visit the Web site at:                       This change has spread to a district and                              regional level. The creative component of
                                                      the project and digital literacy initiatives
                                                      continue at all schools. Teachers at this
                                                      school continue to explore opportunities to
                                                      use Web 2.0 technologies and multimedia
                                                      in their teaching programs. This is a major
                                                      positive outcome of the Partners in
                                                      Learning program,” said Wilson.

                                                         Software and Services                       Third Party Software
                                                               Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007          MARVIN
                                                               Microsoft Office PowerPoint
                                                               Microsoft Photo Story
                                                               Microsoft Windows Movie Maker
This case study is for informational purposes only.

Document published April 2010

Description: Drummond Memorial Public School (Drummond PS), an urban school in Armidale, Australia, began its Connected, Creating, Collaborating program in 2006. The two and a half year partnership between Drummond PS and three other remote schools comprised an effort to develop more creative uses of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the classroom, bridge social and economic differences, and create a truly connected learning experience. Using Microsoft® SharePoint® Server 2007 and other Web 2.0 products such as wikis and blogs, students and teachers collaborated with partner schools to develop their ICT skills and learn from each other.