The Educational Future
Although in schools in the UK, Young students in the Borders were already well prepared to make the move to distance learning and start coding ahead of time, coping with the transition to home learning and curriculum changes.
Before closing, the Borders Council completed the rollout of iPads to all 6,000 secondary students and shifted its coding programme to the six weeks before the summer holiday.
The council is now offering iPads to all kids aged five to seven in elementary schools.
Paul Graham, Kelso High School’s lead teacher of math, computer science and computing, said the iPads provide the widest variety of possibilities.
“Students from a range of different backgrounds were super excited during the outreach in the last school session,” he said.
It was particularly great to hear about how excited they were to get an iPad from students who didn’t have devices at home. They were beaming all over their faces and so grateful – they couldn’t believe we were investing so much in their education and future,”It was especially great to hear from students who didn’t have devices at home about how excited they were to get an iPad. They were beaming all over their faces and so grateful – they couldn’t believe we were investing so much in their education and future,”
No matter where the students are, they can use the iPad as a learning tool, whether they are on the sports field, on field trips, in the classroom or at home. They also don’t have to be connected to the Internet to work and access most applications such as Pages (word processor), Keynote (presentation tool) and so on. I also feel that the computer choices allow teachers to be innovative in delivering.
They learn it really easily when you teach students how to do something. The number of applications on the devices and I think the iPad is built for learning and helping learners, and how much Apple has concentrated on education,” he said.
In February last year, the £ 16 million Inspire Learning initiative was accepted and offered the council an advantage when the corona virus struck, as it was meant to boost educational attainment and encourage equity and inclusion.
Local kids benefited from technology that allowed for improved contact with teachers as home-based learning became the norm.
Susan Oliver, principal at Jedburgh Grammar School, said this made it easier for all students to ensure that learning continued.
“Activities were set online, students submitted their work for feedback in a variety of formats, and dialogue between teachers and students was possible throughout,” she said.
The provision of technology, in addition to the advantages for classroom teachers, ensured that students were able to access a variety of other resources during the lockdown, including support from music teachers, Skills Development Scotland, Quarriers Resilience for Wellbeing Service and our own Pupil Support Team.
Our young people have also been able to use iPads by teams set up as part of our Personal and Social Education initiative to connect with each other.
“It was very important to us to maintain the human side of relationships, and that was definitely helped by everyone being able to use the iPads to communicate.”
Both Secondary 1 and 2 students participated in a coding programme focused on Swift Playgrounds from the Anyone Can Code curriculum of Apple during the six weeks between May 11 and the beginning of the summer vacation.
Ms. Oliver added, “The coding project was a great opportunity for our young people to get started with programming, and it’s something we want to build on in the future,”
In addition to giving out iPads, the Inspire Learning initiative is about educating teachers to teach digital learning.
“It will be our teachers, not digital technology itself, that will be the key to better educational outcomes for our children and youth,” said Borders Council’s Mark Wilson.
Digital technology can make the most of our children and young people only if it is used skillfully to promote their learning. That’s why it’s crucial that we invest in our educators in order to know when and how to use digital technology effectively, so they have the expertise, trust and awareness.
Before selecting the Apple product, the council looked at a variety of choices. It was judged to be the best value for the money, as it is the only platform d d