Technology at AISK
AISK offers the only digitally connected, technology intensive classrooms in Jamaica, and is the leader in this area in education in the region. When the school administration had the enviable task of designing a purpose built campus, five years ago, it was obvious that the campus must have an integrated IT platform. That was the paradigm shift happening in education and we had the opportunity to provide this important learning tool to our students.
Our IT infrastructure is extensive and robust, providing a seamless environment to support our technology-rich program. Our IT Help Desk offers hands-on technical support to our students and staff. Grades 1 through 4 use Apple iPads while Grades 5 through 12 use Apple MacBook laptops. Our Preschool through Kindergarten classrooms are all fitted with touch sensitive interactive boards and accessories.
Digital technology is seen as an essential thread in our students’ lives and an integral part of the AISK Dynamic Learning Paradigm (ADLP). AISK students are educated in a 1:1 Digital Device environment where each student uses an electronic device inside and outside of classes to access the Internet, digital course materials and digital textbooks. This one-to-one computing environment increases student productivity and engagement, enhances their communication and collaboration skills while offering limitless possibilities for creative expression. This allows AISK’s education program to be disseminated in a blended environment where teachers further employ the Learning Management System - Schoology - our virtual classroom, to create a learn anytime, learn anywhere environment which effectively taps into the digital culture of today’s student.
As you peruse our web pages, you will learn how a true 1:1 digital environment operates and see the huge investment AISK makes in the learning environment of our students and the advantage of a 1:1 Digital Device Program.
AISK’s Learning Management System or Schoology, is a portal through which students log into their personalized home pages populated with their courses, homework download, dropbox, grade book, attendance, email, bulletins, calendar, classroom blogs, research databases, third party and web based applications; a dashboard, giving each course a framework within which the student can operate effectively.
How do class pages support student learning?
Teachers are able to communicate with their students and parents, create educational resources in the form of videos, quizzes, power points and research documents to augment classroom activities and deliver additional course materials, which solidifies the learning of the topic at hand. Students have a single resource area to retrieve information when it comes time for revising for exams. This is the “learn anytime, learn anywhere” concept in action.
Students have access to many applications, both web based and computer desktop software. The sophistication of these applications give the student a plethora of choices to express what they have learned, and by virtue of creating an educational article (movie, powerpoint presentation, soundtrack, comic strips, animation) it succinctly demonstrates their understanding of the subject. Creativity is at the top of the range of the higher order skills (application, analysis, synthesis, creation) in Bloom’s Taxonomy, therefore creation of a new idea by the student implies that the student has acquired the knowledge base and the skill sets of the student-centered philosophy of the ADLP. Applications include eTextbooks, research databases; Ebsco and Jstor, Apple iLife suite, Apple iWorks suite, Microsoft Office suite, and web based tools; Google Apps for Education, Turnitin, Easybib, and Geometer’s Sketchpad.
Our students are living in the most stimulating period in the history of the world. They are besieged by information from every platform – computers, phones, Internet, search engines and blogs. Our task as an eSchool is to teach the skills required to successfully navigate the information highway. Good research skills are a must; determining what is a good information source, and how to use a research engine or database. Using the information that is pertinent to the hypothesis of the project and the proficiency in the use of the applications. These skills are required at the university level and in the future work-life of the student.
Technology Director, MS/HS IB ITGS & Computer Studies
Patricia Watkins holds a MSc degree in Instructional Design and Technology, a BSc degree in Sociology, teacher certification and various qualifications in software applications. For more than 25 years she worked as a teacher and information technology manager at a leading PK-13 international school in Nassau, Bahamas, and also as an adjunct instructor in college level information systems and technology. Patricia joined the AISK team in August 2013 as the Technology Director and is honored to be a member of the AISK community. She is looking forward to the coming school year and to creating engaging learning experiences for students and teachers in both the physical and virtual classroom environments.
Marrian McKay - Jamaica
Elementary ICT Teacher
Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Marrian's passion for becoming a teacher developed when she was a child. What she encountered in her earlier years was motivation to impact the lives of children. Ms. McKay never lost her love for teaching and decided to pursue the goal of becoming a certified teacher and gained a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2010.
Marrian began her teaching career at AISK in 2010 as a substitute teacher. In the 2012 - 2013 academic year she assumed the role of Information Technology teacher and Librarian to the elementary school. The previous experience, training, and knowledge of the elementary curriculum has greatly assisted in providing students and teachers with the knowledge and technological support needed for them to be successful.
An IT Consultant and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of diversified and demonstrated experience with maintaining operating systems, networks and providing technical support. He has a passion for all things Apple, coupled with excellent troubleshooting skills as relates to Networking, Computer Maintenance and Software platforms.
Lionel has worked in IT for 7 years; he is a highly skilled technician with a passion for troubleshooting and eagerly takes on every challenge. For Lionel, seeing the satisfied look on someone’s face after an issue has been resolved is the most rewarding aspect of IT.