IT pilot update – Technology Supported Learning

Our pilot of Technology Supported Learning was launched on 19th May to parents and students. The pilot will last for six weeks with 29 Year 9 students taking part. Mr Bradbury (science teacher), Mr Percival (ICT teacher) and Miss Murray (English teacher) are leading the project in-school, along with our IT partner, The Knowledge Network, leading the project as a whole.

The pilot involves all 29 students each being issued with a personal device and their science, ICT and English classes during the pilot will use the devices as an integral part of the teaching and learning.

Blended learning will involve small group work, more traditional teacher-led learning, peer-led learning, learning outside the classroom, and the use of different apps on the devices to support teaching and learning. Students were surveyed prior to the pilot starting and will be surveyed again at the end of the project so that we can assess where the pilot has resulted in changes and improvements in student attitudes, experiences and learning outcomes.

There are three different types of devices – a small tablet, larger tablet, and laptop, and the students will rotate the different devices so that they all get to test each one.

The main objectives of the trial are:

  • To facilitate personal learning pathways for all students
  • To enrich the student experience
  • To support teachers in applying technology to learning
  • To showcase The Whitehaven Academy as a progressive academy

An added benefit of taking part in this pilot is that the academy becomes a Microsoft IT Academy, joining 15,000 Microsoft IT Academies around the world. The Microsoft IT Academy programme is a comprehensive programme that supports on-going technology education for students, teachers and education professionals spanning computer basics to high level programming, along with information and communications technology management using Microsoft technologies. The programme’s resources include access to online learning content, Official Microsoft Course titles course materials and curriculum and instructor tools.

For the launch, all students involved in the pilot, plus their parents, were invited into school to learn about the pilot and take delivery of their devices.  The students were all really excited about getting involved in this project and they have been given an initial activity to complete over the half term holiday so that they can start to familiarise themselves with the devices and the different learning apps.

Once the pilot is complete, The Knowledge Network will be reviewing the outcomes over the summer holidays with a view to putting together recommendations for a future roll-out programme.

We’ll keep you updated as this project progresses and let you know as we develop our exciting roll-out plans to deliver Technology Supported Learning across the whole academy in the future.