All Year 7 pupils have access to the specially optimised tablets for the chance to take the initiative, develop understanding and to celebrate their learning style.
Each year the students have four digital tasks to complete and present on the iPad, allowing them to combine subjects and address particular themes. In its first cycle the students have focused on conflict, movement, pattern and community.
Vickie Bacon, Director of Studies, introduced the iPads in September describing them as an aid for the “Freedom to learn within the curriculum.” She continued, “The beauty of the iPad is that it’s so intuitive” and highlighted that some students already show the teachers even faster ways of using the devices.
The new teaching methods have been well supported by students with 20 pupil ambassadors, accompanied by two staff, addressing an audience of 250 teachers from across Europe at the London Education Summit.
As news of this adventurous approach has spread, considerable interest has arisen from across the education and technology sectors with the College holding five conferences on the “Digital Pencil Case” scheme. The events gave visitors the chance to listen and ask questions about the project’s latest developments.
One of the most contentious issues with technology in schools is the freedom to browse the internet. However with specialist training of teachers, parents and pupils in online safety and the appropriate use of mobile technology, alongside further protocols, the project was backed and put into motion.
The College also introduced “Learning Boxes” across Years 1 to 8; these contain an iPad, iPod Touch and further devices which are shared to enrich the learning experience from the very beginning of the pupils’ educational journey.
With excellent outcomes over the course of its inaugural year, the iPad is also set to be introduced into the Senior School this September. From that point, the use of the devices will travel upwards through the School so that every year group in the College will be equipped with these innovative learning tools.
The original idea of a “Digital Pencil Case” was born through a desire to add appropriate and inspirational tools to enhance the already first-class teaching standards at Hurst. Heather Beeby, Head of the Prep School, said “The introduction of mobile technology into our school has had a massive impact on the children’s learning; they are fully engaged, inspired and empowered and they take great pride in the work they produce as individuals”.
20 June 2013