IST : The International School of Toulouse
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Learning Technology
 

Welcome to the Connected Learning Community of IST

Since opening its doors for the first time in September 1999, IST has established itself as a school that makes excellent use of ICT to deliver and enhance the learning opportunities it offers its students. The school benefits from a high level of technology and a teaching faculty who are highly skilled computer users. Teachers at IST are committed to making the most effective and appropriate use of technology in their subjects.

Staff Handbook
Student Handbook
Network Policies

The Whole School
IST is probably the only school in Europe where you will find more computers than students. All students from 8 years old upwards have their own personal Notebook Computer that is available to them 100% of the time and travels home with them to facilitate working in the evenings, at weekends and holidays. Every staff member also has their own Notebook Computer for lesson planning and work programme design as well as demonstrating processes to students in the classroom. Demonstrations are done through LCD Projectors which are part of the standard equipment in classrooms.

The school wide network provides more access points to our intranet and the internet than there are students. It is the first school in Europe to be specifically designed to enable everyone to interface with on-line resources seamlessly and invisibly. The whole building features a raised anti static floor that permits quick and easy modifications to the flexible teaching spaces that are required in the schools of the future. Every teaching space, study area and library provides ample capacity from over 600 data points for students to log on from anywhere in the building. In fact the capacity of the network is such that the entire population of the school could be on line simultaneously with very little degradation of performance. We realise that the learning process must not be delayed by lengthy download times and for this reason we have four servers which deliver performance at 100Mb/s through our banks of Gigabit Switches.

The Best Tool For The Job
In addition to the notebook computers we always try to ensure that the students have the best tool for the job, this extends to the software as well as the hardware. For this reason Design and Technology classes access our iMac Suite for CAD projects. Simulations and Modeling processes. Our graphic artists can view their work on 21" flat screens. In the Music Centre there are ten Workstations permanently connected to MIDI keyboards that are dedicated to professional composing and notation software, with final processing being done in our recording studio.

Across all Ages
IST believes that students of all ages have the right to access technology. For that reason our 8 year olds have the same computers as 18 year olds. Whereas the older students are often constrained in their application of the software by the rigors of an examination based curriculum, the Primary students and their teachers are completely free to use the full potential of the computer to enhance learning for understanding in the broadest educational sense - investigating, solving problems, designing, creating, collecting and analysing data, and most importantly as a thinking tool that can keep pace with them and allow the sharing of powerful ideas.

At IST our Reception and Year One classes have access to a rich diversity of technology which they can access as appropriate. As well as having their own suite of desktop computers with concept keyboards they can use a class set of notebook computers for whole class, small group or individual activities and already can be found programming Roamer Turtles and making multimedia projects in French and English with MicroWorlds software.

Learning for Understanding
To not only have a faculty that is rich in expertise but has a common focus is a double advantage for our students. The technology provides teachers with the ability to develop a greater range of teaching styles that are relevant to the needs of today's learners. On the other hand our students have far more scope for independent learning in the style that suites their individual needs in a variety of novel and challenging learning environments.

The software our students use is selected because of its open ended design. It requires students to take control of their own learning and create their personal knowledge base. It places the emphasis on process rather than content which is vital in a world where no one can say what knowledge will be important in the future and the job our students will do has probably not yet been invented. The common aim therefore is to create a learning community where understanding is the goal and where technology provides some very important tools to acquire that understanding.