Our Ed-Tech journey has been building over the last few years. We faced challenges with no immediate answers and along the way struggled to keep our focus. We were lucky to experience early good results in student learning and engagement which I think helped us find our momentum.
As we pause (only for a moment) and celebrate the Apple Distinguished School recognition, I’d like to share our SHMS Ed-Tech experience as we push forward again with renewed motivation.
Here’s our journey:
1:1 iPad Model
In 2014 we integrated technology into teaching, learning and assessments across our schools. Our energy went into attending conferences and researching how technology impacts and even redefines our teaching and learning.
With the novel approach to learning, we found that we were immediately confronted by the challenge of abandoning our old attitudes towards the process of learning. We found ourselves moving towards unrestrained opportunities allowing us to navigate new territories and new challenges all leading towards new learning opportunities.
A Liberating Experience
This exercise was liberating as we could now consider more situational, experiential, co-constructed, collaborative and transformative learning methods.
Challenges and Way Forward
One of the biggest challenges was breaking through our teachers’ thick walls of academic freedom. But with the help of a few technology savvy faculty members (iCoaches) and workshops (Genius Lounges) the opportunities for faculty to experiment in safe environments allowed them to quickly adapt and become more comfortable using technology in the classrooms.
Change in Culture
Slowly but surely, teacher self-efficacy in Ed-tech increased and a community of practice emerged that changed the culture at SHMS. The Ed-tech initiative at SHMS has allowed us to revolutionize the teaching and learning experience for our students and faculty.
Today we have re-focused our leadership for greater innovation, transformative educational excellence and authentic learning environments.
In September 2017 we were honoured with the Apple Distinguished School Award, a motivating recognition to continue our journey to redefine higher education at SHMS.
Stephan Earnhart is a Swiss-Made Executive Hospitality & Higher Education Leader. He is currently the Academic Director of Swiss Hotel Management School.