Technology and Learning at ISO
Mindful and intelligent use of computers, the Internet and other technologies has become a foundational skill in the modern world. At ISO, in addition to our institutional digital presence, we use technology to support and enrich learning across the grade levels, guided by the International Society of Technology (ISTE) Standards and supported by teacher training and collaboration. This tech use takes the form of the utilization of various devices as well as several online digital platforms and applications.
The digital landscape in Burkina Faso is constantly shifting, with increasing availability of dependable and affordable Internet bandwidth, and growing access to devices and support services. Accordingly, ISO is constantly engaged with updating our opportunities to leverage technologies in teaching and learning. In 2017-18, we installed a dedicated Leased Line to provide dependable Internet access on our campus, and previously we were an early adapter of Google Apps for Education (GAFE), with individual student Google Apps accounts, including Gmail. Our Leased Line combined with GAFE allows students to work collaboratively with many types of media, create content and share it with a global (or local) audience, and to access their work on any device anywhere via the Internet. All students at all grades have GAFE accounts within our system, although they are not used individually until the student reaches at least Grade 4. Parents of children below Grade 4 can access their child's GAFE accounts using a default password, but older students are encouraged to personalize the password to protect their work.
In 2013-14 we also implemented Moodle, an online Learning Management System where teachers can upload assignments, resources and lessons, and where students can access and submit their work. This is particularly important so that learning can continue in case of a school closure or an extended student absence. All students have Moodle accounts, and parents can access any class Moodle pages via Guest accounts. Students in Grade 4 and above are expected to access their class Moodle pages regularly through their individual student accounts.
In 2017-18 we decided to migrate our information system to Edupage. We are starting operation on Edupage from 2018-19 academic year. We will integrate Moodle, Keystone, FAM and Finalsite to a single interface using Edupage. The implementation will in phases starting with student management, admissions, attendance, grades and Parents' portal and then gradually to E-learning and website.
Implemented in 2014-15, Seniors make use of Naviance…an online college database that allows them to fully research different colleges and universities worldwide, submit applications, archive letters of recommendation and transcripts, and compete for college placement with students of institutions globally.
We have more than 250 devices available to our students and teachers on our campus to enrich learning as well as develop student digital skills. We have two computer labs, one Mac and one PC, that are regularly used at all grade levels, as well as a bank of research computers in the library with access to online databases, and several student-use computers in other locations around the school.
Students in the lower Elementary grades have access to a set of 40 iPad Minis and in-class support with a mindful selection of applications to enrich their creativity and skills. Upper Elementary classes have access to a set of netbooks/laptops to further develop their independent learning skills as well as their digital citizenship. Upper School students have a set of Kindles that are utilized in English classes and to promote reading, as well as access to student computer workstations for research and college application procedures.
Last year, we deployed many additional classroom technologies to enrich learning, such as document cameras expanded to include all divisions, laptop computers for teachers and specialists, and a WiFi network to cover the entire campus (Campus Wide Network - CAN). The school now have a 1:1 dedicated Fiber Optic Leased Line for Internet along with the old VSAT. We are looking to double the bandwidth in near future to make it more accessible to students.
All users of technology at ISO are expected to abide by the following Acceptable Use Protocols: