Learning is transformed by harnessing the potential of mobile tablet technology in lessons.
Bournside is a “school of the future”. Gloucestershire Echo, November 2015.
We encourage all students at Bournside to bring a tablet computer to school, to use in their lessons.
Before we allowed tablet computers in lessons, many of our students were already bringing smartphones and other devices into school and wanting to use them in lessons to enhance their learning experience. At a basic level, taking a photograph of what a teacher has written on the whiteboard to help complete homework for example. As an increasing number of students now expect to be able to do this, we want to fully embrace technology enhanced learning.
How students learn is changing in schools. At Bournside, using tablet computers means students have new, innovative ways to learn. We believe learning is at its best when it is immersive and fun, and when students can make their own choices about how to evidence what they have learned. Every day we see students making the best progress and reaching their potential when they are engaged. We believe that technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing both personalisation and engagement with young people.
Pens, pencils, exercise books, text books, calculators and DVD players are commonplace in classrooms today. We believe that in the near future, portable tablet computers will also be commonplace, and we want to allow students to be able to take advantage of this change now. We think tablets are the obvious next step in an increasing use of technology in the classroom, not just at Bournside, but nationwide. We aim to:
- enhance learning by taking new opportunities technology provides, that were not possible in the past;
- engage learners born into a digital world, and for them to become responsible digital citizens;
- enable learners to become independent enquirers, making decisions about how to present their work, and take charge of their own learning experience. Also enabling meaningful learning to continue beyond the classroom walls.
In class, students create animations explaining mathematical and scientific concepts. They make video clips re-enacting a historical event, a play in English, and news reports for Geography. On the field, students record each other performing techniques and compare themselves to professionals in the sport. In classrooms, e-text books provide students with interactivity: built in quizzes, animations and videos. They include spoken text, dictionary, thesaurus and annotation tools. Teachers provide written and recorded oral feedback that students receive instantly and can be played back anytime, anywhere.
My child is no longer frightened of doing written work. She can now speak what she wants to be written. It’s fantastic. Parent, 2016
We also want to extend learning outside of the classroom, giving students the tools to access and continue their work in meaningful ways outside school. A tablet computer is a tool which can also help bridge the home-school gap and allow families to get more involved in their children’s school life and progress. For example, with an increased access to the learning platform, we now use it to set homework tasks. Parents can see all of this in one place, and it’s not reliant on a student recording it for you.
I’m amazed at how collaborative homework has become. My child uses FaceTime to ask friends how to approach set tasks, and they share resources with each other.” Parent, 2016
Supporting parents with purchasing tablet computers
There is no obligation for parents to buy a tablet computer. That said, many of our parents value having an option to purchase a device from school at a discount. We have a monthly parent donation scheme supported by the charity, Birmingham e-learning foundation (Belf). They are also able to provide financial assistance to some parents for 1:1 device schemes in schools through a programme that is inclusive and sustainable.