Equality is a big issue in education, especially in connection with technology. For example, we are used to hearing phrases like “the digital divide”. But what does “equality” mean in this context – or, more pertinent perhaps, what should it mean?
What are the potential benefits and challenges of introducing a Bring Your Own Device policy into a secondary (high) school? In this, our latest case study, we look at the experience of The Arnewood School Academy in England.
I’ve seen a lot of great practice with iPads and other tablets in schools. The students are engaged in what they’re doing, teachers are excited by the learning taking place, and there’s a good, collaborative atmosphere.
So why do I have the feeling that there is something – a quite fundamental “something” – missing?
St Crispin’s School is a slightly larger-than-average secondary school serving the town of Wokingham, England. An 11-18 school, it has 1102 students. The number of students with special education needs is about average, whilst the proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds is below average. Relatively few students are eligible for free school meals.
St Crispin’s was attracted to the idea of BYOD because, as Mike Elward, Assistant Head/Director of e-learning says
The general thrust of education these days is on student-centred learning. This is often expressed by depicting on the teacher’s role as being the guide on the side rather than the sage on the stage. Regardless of whether you agree that that’s how things should be (and as it happens I don’t: see Please! No More Mantras!), the often-stated philosophy these days is that students know best.
But does stating that philosophy mean that it is observed in practice?
George Spencer Academy is a mixed secondary school in Nottingham, England, with 1350 students aged 11-18. Although it is located in a large town, it has only a small proportion of students who are eligible for free school meals.
The school decided to go down the BYOD road in order to be able to explore the potential of personal devices without incurring costs of purchase, training or technical support. The idea also fits very well with the school’s vision, which is concerned with giving a personalised learning experience to all students.
Although I visited Flitch Green to talk about technology – specifically, iPads and mobile learning – I discovered that as in any good school the technology serves the vision of the school, which is about learning.
Flitch Green Academy is somewhat unprepossessing – at least from the outside. But once you go through the door, it’s a different story.
Here is a selection of online articles that I think worth reading – some of them are my own (he says modestly), but others are others’! They cover a wide range of topics, including the flipped classroom, Bring Your Own Technology, what happens in an internet minute, up and coming conferences and others.
Finborough School is an independent, ie private, all-through school, ie age range 2-18, in a rural English setting. It has 274 pupils.
“Well”, said Elaine as I bounced in last Wednesday evening. “You’ve got your mojo back.” This was quite true. Having spent a few hours reading various articles about why things can’t be done, or how there could be dire consequences if they were, I wasn’t in much of a frame of mind to attend a conference, especially one which seemed to be ‘motivational’. Quite frankly, when I’m feeling miserable the last thing I want is someone trying to cheer me up.