Please find below a newsletter that gives some information on how the Bring Your Own Device scheme and Blended Learning has been used in Sandringham during the Autumn term of 2015.
We are pleased to make available a lending library of modern fiction eBooks via the VLeBooks service. This contains a range of popular fiction authors and books can be read online or ‘borrowed’ for offline reading by downloading to a tablet using the VLeBooks app.
We have also added a link to a range of classic eBooks that can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg.
Further details are in the attached flyer and user guides are also on the main MySandStorm page.
Putting the tools for eLearning into the hands of students and teachers is the first step, the next is to develop not only our pedagogy but also finding high quality sources of information on the Internet.
I’m sure many of you, like me, remember the many bound volumes of Encyclopaedia Britannica as the go-to source in the school library for reliable and well researched information on all sorts of topics. Well, we have just licensed the online version for staff, students and parents to use.
Over 100 editorial staff create, check and curate articles on Britannica. The 21st century version also has three levels of reading for instant differentiation, relevant audio and video clips and useful tools such as Citation, Translation, Text to Speech, ‘On this Day in History’ and Country Comparisons.
Below is a brochure that gives a brief tour of the product:
2015 Jan_A4_Britannica School UK brochure_HR
Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, made a speech on the future of technology in education and the positive impact upon both teaching and learning
You may be interested in a case study written by Herts for Learning for other interested schools in Hertfordshire. It gives a concise summary of the BYOD project to date.
Attached is the latest report on tablets in education from Dr Barbie Clarke, from leading research organisation Family, Kids and Youth (http://www.kidsandyouth.com/)
The report notes that UNESCO has found that mobile devices can give ‘unparalleled access to communication and information’ and facilitate personalisation of learning
Other benefits include supporting ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning, independent learning, collaboration and the development of metacognitive skills or ‘learning to learn’ skills. These are key objectives for our programme.
In a balanced report, there are also issues that we will need to be aware of, including distractions, teacher training and confidence in using mobile devices and difficulties in writing longer texts. The need for further research is also clear.
Sandringham teaching staff received iPad minis after the Easter holidays. This will allow teaching staff to become familiar with the tablet devices and practise with teaching tools and techniques before the student scheme goes live.
Various training initiatives are underway, including the launch of an eLearning section on Sandagogy, our own site for teacher training materials
This report presents a balanced view of the research into the use of mobile technologies in schools, bringing a global perspective to the literature review.
The conclusions are that there is a growing body of evidence that mobile technologies can have positive outcomes in education, with Haßler et.al20 finding that 16 out of the 23 papers they reviewed reported positive student outcomes.
The report also examines studies where there has been limited positive impact (e.g. OECD report) and recent research on sources of distraction from mobile phones in classrooms.
We believe that our programme has tackled many of the pitfalls identified in the studies:
- We have invested significant sums in upgrading our Wifi, Internet connection and providing collaboration tools
- Mobile phones continue to be banned from class – tablet or laptop devices using our filtered internet reduce potential distractions, with our behaviour management policy having strong sanctions for breaching access rules
- We continue to invest in teacher training and innovative pedagogy. Our focus this year is Blended Learning and training sessions run after school and during INSET days across the year.