The Impact of New Technology in Schools – Results are in!

The Impact of New Technology in Schools – Results are in!.

This is an interesting post on the improvements seen in two different environments using iPads in a 1:1 environment.

At Cathedral we are now in our second year of an iPad program in Years 7 and 8. The rest of the College have MacBooks.

From my point of view both devices have their benefits but at the end of the day it is what you allow the students to do with the device that will impact of the learning gains for each student.

If you are using the device to simply replace a text book then you are likely to see little difference in the type of response seen prior to the implementation of technology. We are still seeing teachers getting students to copy notes from a whiteboard or information from a Powerpoint presentation to their device. This is despite staff and students having access to Google apps (Cloudshare) where they could easily share with students.

This was one of the most disappointing aspects of our review of students at the end of 2012 when we surveyed all year groups on exactly what they were doing on the devices in the classrooms. Between 60 and 70 per cent of students across Years 7 to 10 reported that copying information to their device was a regular activity in many of their classes.

It is clear that the traditional lesson delivery for many of our teachers has not moved with the technology. There are certainly teachers doing wonderful things with many platforms and quite a few have embraced the Cloudshare environment. Unfortunately the old ‘time fillers’ are still in action when copying work from the board was time for the teacher to have a rest!

Undoubtedly there are times when something that has been constructed on a whiteboard is a great resource. In 2013 this can easily be captured digitally by both student and teacher and shared quickly.

The same for a Powerpoint! Having students do something like tweet thoughts and ideas to a back channel would be more valuable than taking notes from the slides while the teacher expands on points. You could also have a student capture the lesson on a device and then share with the class via Cloudshare and get all to respond to a key question via a Google doc.

We still have a long way to go in order to maximise the learning gains that the technology we have can provide.


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