Genazzano’s innovation in student Learning

Genazzano FCJ College in Melbourne has unveiled its innovative App Prototyping Project, which aims to enhance student connectedness, knowledge of the college and the use of digital technologies to create digital solutions.

Year 7 at Genazzano is an exciting time for students and the perfect opportunity to introduce an innovative practice that incorporates the Digital Technologies curriculum.

The project prioritises 21st century learning and includes the vital skills of problem solving, collaboration, persistence, creativity and communication, all of which are utilised when prototyping. Students work through the Design Cycle to brainstorm, plan, prototype and evaluate their app and work together to build their prototype in Keynote, an Apple presentation tool.

The students participate in the Religious Education unit ‘Belonging to Genazzano’ which has been taught in Year 7 for many years by way of introducing the students to the history of the college and its culture.

Through the new App Prototyping Project, the evidence of learning and the final project piece is now very different. Students spend weeks gathering information and immersing themselves in the ‘Gen’ culture – all in preparation to build their app prototype.

Genazzano said that Year 7 students are now running to their RE classes, excited to learn more about their school, interviewing members of the community, taking photos of the grounds and researching the history of the houses. “This has created a great buzz.”

As Curriculum Leader of Technologies, Sarah Gale has discovered that the project is a great opportunity to support staff and students through using a hands on approach, team-teaching in class with the RE teachers and meeting with students regarding their progress. “I now have students running up to me in the corridors to show me what they had added to their app, and proving that all of their links worked like a real app,” she revealed.

“I couldn’t have anticipated the excitement and quality of work that was produced as a result of the project. The prototypes were outstanding and the pre and post survey data suggests that student connectedness, knowledge of the college and the use of digital technologies to create digital solutions were all enhanced by this innovative project.”

Ms Gale also leads the co-curricular GenTech program, which gives students a chance to combine creativity with technology.

“This year we are mentoring the girls to explore progressive technology in an interactive, dynamic setting,” she explained. “One of our key projects is Robotics, featuring NAO the robot.”

Using the latest IOS Mac-based software, the Gen Tech students pre-program the robot using advanced coding and use wireless technology to transmit commands.

The Gen Tech Program develops creative, analytical, and critical problem-solving skills, which will transfer to both students’ academic and social lives, as well as expanding their career pathways.

At Genazzano, there are over 130 co-curricular programs on offer, which enhance educational experiences and outcomes. Some of the programs include Archeology, Art Curating, Rowing, Debating, AFL Umpiring, Music Ensembles, Speech and Drama.

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