AISWA Speaker Series Part 1: Virtual Classrooms, More Than a COVID Response

PL # 12906.
Starting on 24 Mar 2021
Cancellation permitted until 22/03/2021
For Members$20
For Catholic Members$20
For Non-Members$40
Registration Close Date 19/03/2021
Register Now

Registrations open to

  • AISWA Member Schools (non-CEO)
  • Catholic Member Schools
  • Non-Members


The significant challenges of 2020 - and the lessons we’ve learnt from those - have inspired significant interest in online communication, collaboration and teaching and learning. We all faced different versions of the same problems and therefore created a wide range of different solutions appropriate for our circumstances. Those schools with established models of online learning found themselves in a strong position.

In the first seminar of our 2021 ‘Speaker Series’, learn how three different Independent schools provide different models of virtual classrooms to achieve quite different goals. Each shows a conscious balance of academic and pastoral intention. The examples cover early years, upper primary and secondary levels. The provisions are well-established and presenters will share their inspiration, initiatives and insights. Speakers include:

Tina Dunn, Pre-Primary Educator, John Wollaston Anglican Community School

SeeSaw is a popular online collaboration and communication platform for younger students and is particularly favoured for creating online journals of learning journeys. The Early Learning teachers at John Wollaston ACS have extensive experience with all aspects of this platform. They found it especially useful for staying connected with children, their learning goals and their families during COVID.

Michael Valentine, Director of Distance Learning, Hale School

Hale@home is a distance learning programme that supports students’ transition to boarding by establishing connections between future Hale boarders and their families with their future teachers and classroom technologies. Over a year, regular online lessons, collaborative projects and interactions promote the knowledge, skills, confidence and social connection that eases the challenge of starting at a new school in the city.

Marion Poynton (Head of Swanonline) and Mathew Woodbine (Swanonline teacher), Swan Christian College

Swanonline welcomes students from Year 7 - 12 and offers an excellent alternative pathway for students and families who find a traditional school model does not suit their situation or lifestyle. Providing online learning programs that cater for all post-school destinations, this is the online education arm of Swan Christian College. 


Michael Valentine

Hale School

Michael is a former Head of Junior School,  Head of Middle School and currently the Director of Distance Learning at Hale School. He has an impressive track record of designing innovative, interdisciplinary online projects whilst fulfilling all of these roles and presenting his work in forums nationally and internationally.  He has spent the past 8 years designing four highly innovative online programmes for students across Western Australia and around the world. His Hale@home, Hale(stuck)@home (a Covid response initiative) and BridgetoBoarding@Hale pre-boarding programmes have transformed the transition to boarding school for students in rural communities and overseas. His Hale Future School outreach programmes provide remote rural school students and teachers with the transformative opportunity to connect with one another, with schools in the city, and across the world.

It is Michael’s conviction that Distance/Online Learning can transform teaching and learning in all classrooms. Michael has designed a presentation which demonstrates how his teaching and learning model inspires richly interactive virtual-sessions where students showcase their collaborative project work with audiences across the world in lively, collaborative teaching moments. The programmes embed the critical competencies of creativity, collaboration, ICT and communication in the teaching and learning model. The programmes are examples of how we can make the 21C competencies intrinsic to our daily teaching and our students' learning.

The future of school is out there….building dynamic online communities in all classrooms for transformative 21C teaching and learning.

  • Michael demonstrates how online learning can be collaborative, richly interactive and can enable the intrinsic development of 21C skills and capabilities in an intellectually engaging context.

  • Connecting students to a global, virtual-workspace is simple, innovative and free of traditional bureaucratic boundaries…it can be the positive disruptive-future for innovative teachers and their schools! 

  • Michael’s compelling presentation introduces his global network of online classrooms and communities, where collaborative problem-solving across distance is at the heart of every session. His work has transformed the transition to boarding at Hale School; and connected students from remote Western Australian schools with students in Russia, Spain and Ireland as well as with Hale School.

Tina Dunn

John Wollaston Anglican Community School

Tina has spent the last 25 years working as an early childhood educator in both public, independent and child care education settings. Since early in her career, she has strived to provide relevant and meaningful communication to parents about their child’s learning and achievements. Before the advent of education blogs and sites such as Pinterest, Tina developed her own webpage designed to network with other educators around the world to share her practice and philosophies, regularly providing support to teachers learning to use formats such as journals to record children’s learning. Since that time, she has further developed methods of assessment, recording and communication through inquiry journals, learning journeys and the use of digital technologies such as QR codes and Seesaw. Tina has been using Seesaw daily in her classroom since 2017, developing its use as a tool to record and report on each child’s interests, learning goals and achievements, as well as a teaching tool. She strongly believes in the importance of staying connected to families, using Seesaw as a method of encouraging open communication, interaction and partnership.

Marion Poynton

Swan Christian College

As Head of Swanonline Marion Poynton has an extensive background and career in Online Education and is passionate about growing and extending quality Christian Education courses to develop high-caliber students Australia wide.

She directs strong emphasis towards fostering the potential in teachers to ensure quality delivery of courses and enjoys coaching, mentoring and grading pre-service teachers.

Having recently completed a Master in Christian Education Leadership, she has a particular interest in Christian Education and in her spare time works with a team writing curriculum for an International Distance Education dance course.

Mathew Woodbine

Swan Christian College

Mathew Woodbine has a Diploma of Christian Ministry, Bachelor of Social Science, Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education and Master of Education. He has been at Swan Christian College since 2009 and is a passionate Middle School Teacher teaching Digital Technologies, HASS and English. He enjoys using technology and teaching students how they can use technology to solve real world problems. Mathew also coordinates the First LEGO League at Swan Christian College and has competed in a variety of competitions.


Event Segment

Date / Time

Starts: 16:00
Finishes: 18:00


AISWA Training Room Suite 1
Suite 1, 41 Walters Drive
Osborne Park WA 6017


Parking bays are available on Walters Drive (max. fee is $5.00 p/day). Alternatively, public transport is available via train & bus: Joondalup Line – Stop at Glendalough Station. Bus transfers: Bus no. 407, Bus stop: 25350

Learning Area

School Area

  • Early Childhood (PK - 2)
  • Primary (P-6)
  • Secondary (7-10)
  • Senior Secondary (11 - 12)
  • Leadership

Event Contact

AITSL Standards