Microsoft has today announced that Kirwan State High School in Northern Queensland, has been recognised as one of the world’s most advanced users of technology in the classroom. The school will represent Australia in Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Schools Program as a Pathfinder School. Kirwan State High School is one of only 60 Pathfinder Schools globally in the initiative, which has been implemented to assist teachers and students to effectively use information communication technologies (ICT).

As a Microsoft Pathfinder School, Kirwan State High School has been recognised as a school which has demonstrated they are passionate about technology and have a strong vision for transforming their learning environment. This program offers students and teachers the opportunity to further enhance their use of ICT tools with high levels of engagement, communication, collaboration and leadership opportunities. In addition to this, the school will have access to a shared learning community, where they are able to share best practice examples with other schools around the globe.

At Kirwan State High School, one of the key best practice examples can be seen by students studying humanities, who are using technology based solutions to investigate real world issues focusing on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Students have created education campaigns to raise awareness of Human Rights issues internationally and domestically. The school’s Vietnamese charity partner, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, has now implemented these initiatives on a large scale.

“It’s fantastic to see Kirwan State High School apply digital solutions to global problems. What’s important is using technology to better educate the kids, get them engaged and excited about learning and make a contribution to society. This gives not only the school, but the community a great sense of achievement and something to be really proud of”, Sean Tierney, Academic Programs Manager, Microsoft Australia, said.

Further enhancing the school’s focus on best technological practise, Kirwan State High School has introduced intranet based programs into their curriculum and all initiatives are based on the promotion of student advocacy through ‘Student Voice’, and engaging local students in service learning projects with global partners.

Executive Principal of Kirwan State High School, John Livingston, said, “We are very excited to have been selected as a Pathfinder School. We hope to develop authentic learning networks for students and staff and the opportunity to collaborate and innovate on a large scale. Not only can we encourage other schools to implement and use technology in a meaningful way in the classroom, but to also learn from other Pathfinder and Mentor Schools around the world. We want to promote North Queensland as a leading district in eLearning, to up-skill all educators in purposefully using Microsoft ICT for learning.”

See the following links for more information about Kirwan State High School.

Kirwan State Website

Kirwan State PiL Network Profile