Technology Enhanced Learning
How students learn is changing in schools. At Chipping Campden School, using tablet computers means that students will have new, innovative ways to learn.
We believe learning is at its best when it is immersive and fun, and when students can make their own choices about how to evidence what they have learned. Every day we see students making the best progress and reaching their potential when they are engaged. We believe that technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing both personalisation and engagement with young people.
Pens, pencils, exercise books, text books, calculators and DVD players are commonplace in classrooms today. We believe that in the near future, portable tablet computers will also be commonplace, and we want to allow students to be able to take advantage of this change now. We think tablets are the obvious next step in an increasing use of technology in the classroom, not just at Chipping Campden School, but nationwide.
You might expect us to recommend iPads as a way to improve engagement, bring the internet into the classroom, to use technology in creative and interactive ways, to develop the digital skills that our students already have, and to hone these for a world of work demanding seamless use of technology.
Well, we do, of course. But these are not the main reasons.
Educational research shows feedback has one of the most powerful effects on students' learning and progress. iPads will mean your child's work can be instantly displayed to the class, so that all students benefit from their example – showing what has been mastered and revealing common errors and misconceptions. Where once this might take a week or two for books to be marked, feedback can now happen every lesson. Common misconceptions can be addressed straight away.
Practical work can be photographed, filmed, annotated and improved during the lesson. Feedback is so much more effective when it happens in the lesson, at the time errors occur.
Yet research shows feedback to the teacher about what the class know and don't know, is even more powerful. In normal lessons, students answer questions one at a time, and the teacher infers when to move on. With iPads, instant quizzes on Kahoot, Quizlet and Show my Homework will deliver real time results, for the whole class. Teachers will know exactly when to move on, and exactly when to clarify or reteach. Students will instantly see their scores appear – a very strong incentive to concentrate on learning during the lesson, and will receive instant feedback on what they have learned, and what they still need to revise.
Research also shows that frequent, low stakes quizzing, is the best way to strengthen memory. With iPads, this can happen for a section of every lesson.
Mind mapping and other memory apps will help students organise what they know, so that their subject knowledge is linked and easier to recall in detail.
Wifi connectivity will allow every student to access all their resources. Textbooks, worksheets, revision material, tests, mark
schemes and model answers will all be increasingly available online or downloaded. High quality resources can be made available to all.
Students will be able to share texts, documents, video and sound files. Students will be able to create all of these, and their own iBooks, with all this media embedded in them. They will be able to collaborate on these to improve each other's skills and knowledge. Again, these can be shared instantly with the teacher and the class.
Eventually, the whole curriculum will be available this way – students will be able to access all the resources they need from year 7 through to year 13 through their iPad. They need never fall behind through absence, will be able to revisit the lesson online if they struggled, will be able to get ahead in subjects that bring out their passion.
The availability of the internet will enable students to share their research quickly, extending everyone's thinking. We will better be able to teach how to search for reliable sources, how to test online evidence, and how to refine searches so that they are more meaningful.
Homework will be instantly available, so that students can choose to start it at break, lunch, or on the bus home. And of course, nothing will be lost – no loose worksheets, diagrams, timetables falling out of exercise books or bags.
This is an exciting journey teachers and students will embark on together. Teachers will find solutions that save time, give clearer feedback, create better resources and are engaging. Students outnumber us! They will probably be even more useful in this way, offering ideas, apps and skills which we have not anticipated.
We don't underestimate the power of sharing, the power of having teachers who are both role models in mastery of their subjects, but also role models in how to learn, how to share and improve on each other's ideas.
Eventually we imagine departments producing their own textbooks, often embedded with sound files and videos that include our teachers' best explanations, their best teaching, permanently available for revision. We already have several teachers with YouTube channels doing just this.
We are now 12 months in to our journey together. Staff are working hard to develop their classroom pedagogy and skills using the iPads to bring learning to life. A number of our staff have now been trainined and certified as Apple Teachers showing their commitment to the vision. Our students are also benefitting hugely from having technology at their fingertips. It hasn't been all plain sailing and we recognise that there are still many challenges ahead, but together we are working to inspire our students to be empowered by the technology to excel at their studies.
It isn't just the staff and students that are noticiing the benefits. Here is a testimonial from one parent of a student in year 10: