SIDE has made the transition from a correspondence education school to an online, flexible-learning institution, combining 100 years of experience with current pedagogical and technical know-how.
All upper secondary courses have been rewritten to reflect the new WACE Courses and designed for online delivery. Similarly, lower-secondary courses are being redeveloped to adhere to the new W.A. Curriculum. Importantly, teachers are now given the flexibility to edit and redevelop materials to suit the needs of their students.
For curriculum materials, teachers use a blend of self-written, commercial and system-developed sources. Depending on their cohort, teachers use a variety of strategies to connect with their students:
- live, online classes using Webex, the Department of Education's web conferencing solution
- Moodle online courses available 24/7
- face-to-face teaching either on-site in Leederville or school/regional visits
- print and telephone to supplement online learning.
SIDE regularly hosts intrastate, interstate and international visitors interested in learning more about the successful model used by teachers and students.
A continuing focus of the School is to ensure high quality teaching and learning in the new online world. The School has on-site Online Teaching and Learning Team consisting of practising teachers who support other teachers and students to use the new technologies in the most effective manner.
There are plenty of challenges and opportunities for the School. Mobile technologies offer great potential for flexibility and access, the Australian Curriculum and the national agenda require examination in the distance education context and the natural world presents age-old challenges with fires, floods and storms.
Experienced teachers and administrators with a clear and strong focus on student achievement means the School is well equipped to move forward.