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Computers and technology

Talara Primary College affords our students a hand crafted curriculum which engages, enables and empowers students as information architects who can think, investigate, create, communicate, participate, reflect and understand within the globalised society of the 21st Century. Within that context, the vision for ICT at the college is that staff and students will be empowered to create, shape, select and use information and computer technology effectively, efficiently and appropriately within an excellent learning environment. As a school we acknowledge the important role ICTs play in the effective engagement of students in the learning process, and in positioning students to become members of a global society.
Extensive use is being made of information and computer technology to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Classrooms across the school have been equipped with desktop computers with widescreen LCD monitors. Through the use of school funds and P&C support, more classrooms are outfitted with interactive SmartBoards and data projectors each year, bringing the total across the school to 30. Every Prep and Year 1 classroom now has a SmartBoard installed, which provides rich digital learning opportunities for our Early Phase students. Nearly all double teaching spaces have access to a SmartBoard. All classrooms have data projectors to support our technology rich curriculum and the implementation of the Australian Curriculum. These facilities allow teachers to provide a broader educational experience for our students by giving them direct access to the Internet, streaming video and interactive learning resources.
Our students are encouraged to use computer technology to work collaboratively, as well as to develop their own individualised learning. The need to give students a more flexible learning experience has been recognised at Talara with students, particularly in the upper school, accessing virtual classroom spaces through Education Queensland’s Learning Place. A virtual classroom is a private online space that teachers in each year level team use to support student learning. It is accessible via the Internet, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The space may contain group and individual learning activities, quizzes and surveys, homework activities and assessment documents.
In addition to classroom computers, classes have regular weekly access to our Main Computer Lab (30 computers) and Design Lab (16 computers, interactive SmartBoard, digital microscopes, scanners and BlueScreen Studio set). The Design Lab has been utilised extensively by our student enrichment groups, with the school’s Media Team investigating movie making techniques, photo-editing and digital photography, regularly publishing articles and photo stories in our newsletter.
The integration of ICT within the curriculum is an ongoing experience and requires a great deal of thought and planning. Teachers regularly receive training on new software and hardware to ensure that their individual skills are at a level which enables the maximum use of technology within the classroom.  Through the department’s Computers-For-Teachers program, implemented at Talara in 2007, all teaching staff have been issued with a laptop computer which allows them to more effectively use the technology in a classroom setting.
Talara’s staff intranet - Talara Central - has been recognised as an essential information portal not only for access to resources, but also for the dissemination of information. Every day it is used by teachers to post notices, access policies and to make online booking of computer rooms, laptops and other technological resources. As an administrative tool it is continually being redeveloped, with changes being made in response to the needs and expectations of staff and students. As a school community we are endeavouring to utilise and integrate ICT effectively and we are excited by the new opportunities that the future will bring.