eLearning leader, Georgina Allardice, Head of eLearning
At the moment, we’re in our sixth year of a 1:1 laptop program and we identified the need for it to become a more widespread program throughout the school, and to have a more “bottom-up” approach in terms of our younger year levels having that access, whereas traditionally it has been 4-7.
We are phasing our laptop program out and we’ve introduced a Bring Your Own Device program and that is at the moment Years 2, 4 and 5 and for 2015 will be all years to six classes.
Probably the biggest issue is skilling staff and gaining that staff support for BYOD. It’s not a process that happens overnight and it is an evolving process that is something I call positive peer pressure. People see the benefit and the value in what others are doing, and the students love of learning in that environment and then take that on board themselves.
The staff are definitely a group that we are working on all the time.
We have great parent and community engagement in the program. We do have some concerns in terms of equity, those parents that may not be able to afford to buy a device for their child and where that’s been the case, we’ve been able to provide access to school-owned devices.
Probably the most important and critical element of BYOD is the professional development for teachers and the pedagogy. We’re continually working on a model for digital pedagogy. We use the TPACK model and SAMR models and our primary focus is skilling teachers as well as allowing them to become contemporary effective teachers.
We recently conducted a survey of our parents, staff and students and the students had noted that about 98%, a really high percentage of them, said that using devices for learning made learning more enjoyable.
In terms of the shorter term goals for BYOD, it’s really part of an initial three-year plan to immerse all schools and blended classrooms into a BYOD environment. We are moving from an environment where we had, for example, laptop and non-laptop classes and device classes and non-device classes to an environment where every single class has as much access to devices as possible and the idea then is to change the shape of that learning that takes place in those rooms. The ability to have access to resources, to engage the learner and to identify those elements of a contemporary effective learner.
The recent technical solution has meant that the school is able to have more transparency in terms of the devices on the network and enables us to better monitor and … in terms of safety and security, it allows better environment as well.