Information Technology at Old orchard
Over the past three years the students at Old Orchard have had the opportunity to have a device in a 1:1 capacity, a device that furthers their learning that is owned by them, as opposed to a school supplied group of devices, which are shared amongst a large group of students.
Digital technologies are continuing to transform the way we live our lives, work, play and learn. Mobile devices can be used in educational settings as an annotation tool; to enable creation and composition; facilitate social networking; and provide rich tools to capture and edit video, audio and images. Old Orchard Primary is continually striving to serve the needs of our students in an authentic way. One of the key ways to do this is through integration of technology to ensure that all students have the opportunity to become competent, discriminating, creative and compassionate users of a range of technologies. Integration of technologies, though a 1:1 program, has the potential to engage students in ways not previously possible, to enhance their achievement, to create new learning possibilities and to extend students’ interaction with their local and global communities.
During 2015 we evaluated our 1:1 program and its effectiveness on student learning at Old Orchard and are confident that our students are greatly benefiting from being involved in the program. A major component of this evaluation has been looking at our preferred device at Old Orchard. During the year we visited several schools that have used other devices to implement a 1:1 program and have run a trial program using iPads to be able to see the differences in devices and how they serve our programs and students at Old Orchard.
After running the trial we have gathered our own data, alongside feedback from the students and staff, and consulted with members of school council. Taking into consideration all of the information at hand we have made the decision to change to a 1:1 program from 2016 where our Year 4 students will use iPads.
The selection of a device for a Primary School 1:1 program is a complex one, however, our ICT Team are confident that, on balance, the iPad is the most appropriate device to meet the needs of our students and our school in the foreseeable future, taking all factors into account.
Some of the greater contributing factors for this decision have been:
- Cost to families
- Weight and size of the device
- Greater reliability of the iPad (less need for technical support)
- Additional content creation for students (iMovie, Garage Band etc.)
- Maintaining educational benefit
- Increased collaboration between students is achievable
Devices such as laptops or PCs will continue to be available to be used as appropriate and we will continue our philosophy of embedding technology into our teaching and learning to facilitate learning, as opposed to being the focus of learning.