MIE Expert Spotlight: Matt Heinrich from Radford College on driving digital innovation.

In this MIE Spotlight, we hear from Matt Heinrich, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation, Radford College, Canberra.

matt_heinrich_2Teaching has always been a desirable profession, originating from fond experiences during my own education. In 2011, I began teaching in the primary years, drawn to the opportunity to engage with students across multiple subjects whilst building a strong connection throughout a year. Whilst teaching in the upper primary years, I began finding ways to use technology to empower students in more personalised, collaborative and creative learning.

Years later, I launched a 1-to-1 pilot and following this, opportunities arose to empower other staff with the confidence to adapt and evolve their pedagogy.

What are the top three ways Microsoft technologies are assisting you in delivering curriculum to your students?

In our 1-to-1 BYOD environment at Radford College, student predilections and learning styles are supported whilst Office 365 provides a consistency of powerful tools for collaboration and creation across all devices. In the younger years, the Office 365 iOS apps introduce our students to rich technology use and extend learning in and beyond the classroom. Both teaching and non-teaching staff access the web-based applications such as Microsoft Planner to manage team projects and Microsoft Forms for various types of surveying and data collection.

OneNote Class Notebooks have reinvigorated digital learning across the College as students engage in curriculum in a dynamic and engaging platform. The synchronisation and ease of access to student sections allows teachers to provide timely feedback, assist students in their self-management skills and promote cognitive development by presenting differentiated tasks.

We continue to reflect on how more meaningful learning can be achieved in OneNote and as features evolve, prioritise equipping staff with the technological and pedagogical understandings to fully utilise its ever-increasing power. In addition to this, our SharePoint intranet continues to be a repository for documents, information relating to College practices, pages for subjects and faculties, co-curricular and wellbeing materials.

We’ve recently focused attention on our research practices and allocated greater time for teachers to interrogate data and inquire into the story behind it. Commencing our exploration of data visualisation with Literatu and PowerBI, we’re now embarking on a project to integrate our academic tracking of student data into PowerBI to further support and enhance teacher capacity to analyse, track and measure growth to inform teaching and learning.

Tell us what types of innovation you’ve been introducing at Radford College?

We recently completed a review of Radford Online (our SharePoint site collection) with the intention of improving the function, form, interface, navigation and user experience for students, parents and staff. Following a range of school visits and consultation with Microsoft certified gold partners, we decided to implement LiveTiles Mosaic internally. We built a series of tailored dashboards and integrated numerous existing third party applications to substantially improve the experience of users engaging with the College digitally.

Our new contemporary, innovatively designed and mobile responsive intranet has been very well-received and brings digital learning across systems together in a single landscape so that staff can teach, manage classes and collaborate with their students effectively online.

It is a really exciting time to be in the profession of education due to the advancements and accessibility of technology. The Microsoft Educator Community and MIE Expert program are such valuable opportunities to network and engage in personalised professional learning.

You can connect with Matt Heinrich via Twitter or LinkedIn.

Our mission at Microsoft is to equip and empower educators to shape and assure the success of every student. Any teacher can join our effort with free Office 365 Education, find affordable Windows devices and connect with others on the Educator Community for free training and classroom resources. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for our latest updates.