iPads for learning

Page_iPads

In 2012 the school embarked on our iPad 1-1 scheme with all students in Years 8–11 receiving their iPad in the autumn term of 2012, followed by the all Year 7 students in the spring term 2013. Sixth form pupils received iPads in the autumn term of 2013. We now have over 2000 iPads in school used by our students and staff.

The philosophy for implementing the 1-1 iPad scheme was:

  • To ensure equality of access to the internet at school and at home
  • To prepare students for working and living in a digital age
  • To support self-led research and problem solving
  • To improve the quality of feedback, home learning and collaboration
  • To provide new and innovative ways for students to learn

With the digital world developing so fast we are extremely proud of our students’ and teachers’ innovative use of technology to enhance the teaching & learning experience all students have. However, along with this and perhaps one of the most surprising benefits has been the shift in culture to one of a greater level of trust and respect.

We now use the iPad for many of our key systems and infrastructure. This includes direct  communication via email, our student planner for recording home learning, Classcharts which records the rewards and sanctions system we have in school and Showbie, where staff share rich resources and can provide immediate feedback. Along with all of these uses teachers and students utilise the iPad for learning activities which provide multiple pathways to subject knowledge and understanding in new, creative, engaging and exciting ways.

Our survey of students is very encouraging with the results overwhelmingly in support of the scheme and students identifying the key benefits noted above. Here are just a few quotes from the survey:

“I have been able to research things online with more ease and being able to communicate with my teachers through email has been really helpful. Also knowing that my school work is a lot safer has really helped me become more able to concentrate fully on my work.”

“I find that my iPad has helped my learning because it is very easy to communicate with other students when working collaboratively. It is also helpful because I am away racing most weekends I can take my iPad with me so I can do homework.”

“I think that using the iPad has helped simply because it is really easy and useful having access to thousands of resources, which we can use to research information during the lesson. Students are always enthusiastic when the teacher says ‘Get your iPads out’ because it is a fun and effective approach to learning.”

“It’s allowed me to create presentations and pieces of work more creatively and easily and to look up important stuff which I need to know when appropriate.”

These are certainly exciting times in the digital world and the impact this is having on our school. I hope you are lucky enough to get a glimpse of the scheme in action as it is a privilege to see our students and teachers utilising the opportunities the scheme presents.

Stephen Woollard
iPad ambassador