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Digital Learning

What is BYOD:

Since 2015 we have been working towards establishing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) here in school. It is implementing technology as an integral part of the learning process. Classrooms have changed significantly previous generations and whiteboards, dry wipe pens, projectors, computers and electronic whiteboards are now used.

The next big step in this development is to give the students an interactive link with the material the teacher is using to teach and for it to become an integral part of their learning, so their learning in class can be closely linked to their learning out of the classroom.

Teachers training with Chromebooks for digital learning

History:

We introduced BYOD into Primary in 2015 when Y5 and 6 were encouraged to bring tablets into school to allow for research in the classroom, supervised by the teacher. Year 12 and 13 VOLUNTARY BOYD were also encouraged to bring laptops into school to work in the library and help with research. Tablets were extended to Y4. Teachers in secondary have been trained in using the Chromebook as a teaching and learning device and their lessons have evolved over the year to take account of the Google suit of applications as we have, like many others, become a Google school. All our students in secondary and staff have Google E-mail accounts and have been using Google Classroom, Drive, Sites, Docs, Sheets and Slides as part of their development and learning.

Devices:

Research has shown that when a student brings their own device to school a significant change happens. They take responsibility for the care and treatment of the apparatus. From being a piece of school equipment it becomes their personal equipment.

There are a number of ways of introducing devices into school.

  • A monthly technology charge to parents and the school purchases the devices.
  • Any device from home can be brought into school.
  • Parents can be requested to purchase a particular device and all the students and staff wok on the same device.

We have researched this over the last 2 years and believe the way forward is for each student to purchase their own device. After researching the possibilities for the last 2 years, we believe the most effective one to be that parents purchasing a specific device for their child. This way all teachers and students are using the same device and using similar apps, on-line applications and similar technology.

The school technical infrastructure and content filters will enable students to all work together to learn.

Our secondary students all have lockers where their devices will be secured when not in use. Primary students will have their devices secured in a locked cupboard in their classroom.

The chosen device is a Chromebook which typically cost between 300 and 400€ and would be the property of each student. We are currently working with suppliers on the island to provide the best value for money options.

Benefits:

Improving the quality and effectiveness of Teaching and Learning.

Greater student participation in the classroom.

Improving the efficiency and sustainability of technology enhanced learning.

Organisational benefits.

Improving family engagement.

Disadvantages:

IT support challenges.

Network capacity and traffic.

Parent concerns about BYOD and cost.

Conclusion: BYOD continues to grow around the world and it is positively affecting student learning and performance. There is a lot for schools to do before implementing such a policy and as we move forward with this project we want to inform you, our parents, of the direction we are moving in and ask for your support in making digital learning an integral part of our school.

Next month we will send all our parents more information about our digital learning developments and create a space on the website to centralise all our related information.

Should you have any queries about the project or suggestions please contact me at donat@oakleycollege.com

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