Finalists for the prestigious Australian Education Awards
St John’s Anglican College was recently announced as a finalist in the 2020 Australian Education Awards for Innovation in a Learning Environment Design. The College is one of seven finalists and one of only four from within Queensland.
The St John’s STEM Institute Design Centre is an EduTech Asia award-winning educational space that is bold and flexible, incorporating technology to promote collaboration, learning and personal growth amongst students and staff.
After a site visit to High Tech High (HTH) in San Diego during a deeper learning conference, the former classrooms were redesigned with best practice principals in mind into a more flexible and collaborative learning environment, conducive to multiple uses, where projects could be worked on more freely during and out of class. Head of e-Learning and Innovation at St John’s, Mrs Sharon Singh said “observing their set-up, the energy of their students and their engagement in learning was an eye-opener at HTH. I wanted the same for our students.”
The design of any space impacts the way a person thinks, feels and acts. In redesigning this space as a world-class design centre, St John’s were able to increase student engagement in e-learning and ensure flexibility in the space for numerous activities which were previously restricted.
Principal, Mrs Maria McIvor says “It is a testament to the College and an honour to be nominated in this category. The STEM Institute Design Centre is now a hub of activity during the school day. During break times it has become a place for students to meet and work on projects and have fun training for internal and external competitions. It has changed the way they think, they say it for themselves”.
“There is more awareness between teachers and students during class and there is a flow of shared ideas. The proximity between the students supports planned and unplanned connectivity too. Opportunities for older students to mentor younger ones have sprung up, increasing connections, communication and encouraging the active sharing of information. More students are enrolling in the digital technology and computer science subjects. Students are more engaged and having more fun in their learning which is positively impacting their results.”
Winners will be announced at the Australian Education Awards on November 6 in Sydney.