Methodist Ladies’ College

Purposeful innovation for differentiated learning at Methodist Ladies’ College Perth

MLC Perth are proud leaders in holistic teaching and learning. The imperative is to provide every opportunity for students to explore the interconnecting elements of their education.

As an adjunct to in-person, teacher directed learning, technology is a vital element of MLC’s total offering.

The Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC) in Perth, blends cultures, ideas, innovation and imagination in a school that promotes excellence in all areas of student life. From pre-kindergarten to Year 12, the College focuses on differentiated learning experiences for each of the 1,170 girls in its academic care.

Watch the full case study on MLC’s journey below:


The Challenge

To provide a differentiated learning experience, MLC was looking to better align the school’s values with teaching & learning and best practice technology tools.

The Solution

Transition to a fully maximised, school-wide Microsoft environment for teachers & students with a Proof of Concept customised staff training project saw a smooth and productive uptake of the new technology platform.

The Benefits
  • CompNow education sector expertise
  • POC developed vital, positive early adopters
  • Tailored, classroom focused training for Professional Development
  • Lifecycle management addressing waste concerns

MLC’s technology adoption is always purposeful and timely, to create a school-wide, best practice experience for our students. But we can’t do it all on our own. With education being what makes Compnow tick, they’re the perfect partner for us.

Vanessa Smith Director of Academic Operations
Methodist Ladies’ College

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The Challenge

Meagan King holds one of the emerging roles in progressive schools like Methodist Ladies’ College – as Director of Innovation. She says: “Our students are encouraged to view technology as a tool – it’s to supplement experiences, to help solve problems and build relationships.”

MLC’s Director of Academic Operations, Vanessa Smith says: “We wanted a school-wide, best practice experience for students, where pedagogy meets technology”.

In reviewing MLC’s strategy for innovation, the decision was taken for staff to operate from the same device as students, and for the Years 5-12 girls to move from BYOD to a school-provided 1:1 policy. The change of operating system from Apple to Microsoft would provide an all-in-one solution that would better prepare students for the evolving workplace, plus work seamlessly with the College’s Microsoft 365 suite where “collaborative tools are incredibly important for knowledge sharing and productivity,” Meagan says.

These projects would need careful management for a smooth transition. Vanessa says: “For technology introductions, communications have to be very strong, so no one is blindsided. Training is the critical piece in the puzzle to improve teacher-technology adoption.”


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The Solution

“We screened a bunch of providers and probed what Compnow could do for us. Right from the start, Compnow’s approach was clearly different. Everyone we deal with truly wants to understand our needs and build the relationship. And the after sales service has been the highlight. We started with a few small projects and have ended up with Compnow as sole supplier of devices for all students and staff,” Meagan says.

As Australia’s largest Microsoft Surface reseller in the education sector, Compnow was the first authorised, national Surface repair agent, with onsite break and fix services. This accreditation minimises the time students and staff are without their personal device.

“Compnow’s SustainIT lifecycle program helped get our business case over the line. And its professional learning and development services were a point of differentiation,” she says.

Sessions with teams across Compnow’s expertise “provoked us to think differently about the rollout & training,” Meagan says.

Compnow proposed a Proof of Concept (POC) pilot with group training for 12 teachers as a litmus test for success, before introducing the new technology environment to students. “This was the smart way to go. We were particularly keen to have our teachers understand the power of the Surface pen, as well as productivity tools like OneNote and cloud based collaboration,” she says.

Vanessa says: “We relied on Compnow’s trainers to bring on everyone, from fully excited teachers to those who were reticent. The POC was fantastic for staff to practice, be supported and feedback to colleagues.”

From there, bespoke training was designed for each department. “Because Compnow’s trainers are teachers, they understand our context – all training is very realistic, with the understanding that classrooms have multiple things going on. They know maths and physical education use tech very differently and structure the sessions to suit,” she says.

These exercises developed the impressive skillsets of MLC’s professional cohort, creating a group who became champions for the move and developed internal thought leaders who continue to make best practice decisions for the school.

With this initial success, MLC’s Council gave approval for the rollout of 230 Microsoft Surface Pro 8s to staff, and the first stage of devices to students covering 380 Surface Pro 8s & 130 Surface Go 3s, with Compnow deployment assistance.

With Compnow having an office and warehouse in Perth, stock for MLC’s large order – of devices and a PC Locs FUYL Tower charging station for the boarding house – was procured over time and held for MLC in readiness for the rollouts.

From a financial perspective, Compnow secured Microsoft funding through their Power-Up Program for additional services to enhance the new Surface fleet integration. The College used this bonus “to maximise the bank of hours we could call on Compnow’s team to provide weekly opt-in training sessions for staff and engineering, works like upskilling our IT team on the InTune end point manager and AutoPilot,” Meagan says.

Compnow’s full lifecycle offering included its SustainIT buyback service portal for parents to on-sell their children’s old iPad devices. This provides value back to families and ensures the extended life of equipment. Vanessa says: “We’re very conscious of the e-waste issue – in terms of the environment and cost. We had to act to save hundreds of laptops & tablets from landfill, and parents had made serious commitments to existing iPads and MacBooks. So Compnow’s SustainIT buyback option is very important.”

From 2023, the SustainIT scheme will extend to all school purchases, including student device refreshes & AV equipment.


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The Benefits

The two factors that MLC see as key to its successful technology transition are the values alignment with Compnow, and the continuing value add its trusted, professional services bring to the partnership.

Compnow’s genuine values match comes from its deep, nationwide commitment to the education sector, as it plays its part in preparing young people for high impact futures. It is a generous supporter of MLC’s participation in the national Innovation in Education Festival – that brings together educators, entrepreneurs and industry in a knowledge sharing event – and the Federation of United Schools Esports (FUSE) Cup international competitions. “These events are about inspiring our girls and Compnow is with us all the way,” Vanessa says.

She says: “We’re on our way. Technology is achieving what we set out to do. Our students are using [Microsoft] Teams to communicate with teachers and work in groups. Many overseas students have not yet been able to return, but are continuing their MLC education and participating fully in the classroom via Teams. We can also do exciting things like dial in guest speakers from around Australia, or ‘share’ a virtual meal with our sister school in Japan.”

While the future at MLC is paperless, Year 12 students still need to practice for paper exams. The school uses Surface Pen annotations in OneNote “which dramatically cuts paper use, while giving students writing exercises”.

Methodist Ladies’ College is aiming to be a Microsoft Lighthouse school and “with Compnow’s experience, we know what it will take to become one,” Meagan says.

“It’s an expanding relationship with Compnow, where we learn from them and them from us. They look for opportunities where we can develop our technology use, but always in line with our values.”


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