Tablets get the tick in trial

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 06:50 26/02/2013
Yazmin Shipley
Derek Flynn

Milan Cunliffe-Post and Yazmin Shipley

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Pupils in two classes at Bohally Intermediate School in Blenheim are using their own laptops or tablets across all their subjects everyday.

One year 7 class and one year 8 class began piloting the Bring Your Own Device scheme at the start of this school year.

Altogether, 36 year 7 and 8 pupils are involved.

Teacher Jenni Williams said the students use the laptops or iPads across subjects, but they still write in exercise books as well.

In her year 8 pilot class, 15 children had iPads and 13 had laptops.

Allowing pupils access to digital devices in class helped them to connect with the world via Skype or email.

"It gives them access to more information so they can connect with the rest of the world, not just their own class," she said.

A lot of extra time had gone into preparing the class curriculum and learning about such things as how to use an iPad or Google Drive, a free service that allows all files including documents, photos and videos to be stored online and accessed anywhere.

Miss Williams had also attended courses and visited schools in Auckland to see how they applied the same scheme.

"There are whole high schools up there like Rangitoto [College] where every student brings a laptop or an iPad to school."

Bohally Intermediate School principal Andrew Read said the school introduced the scheme following an information evening for parents last year.

Pupils had been selected for the classes by ballot; the sheer number of parents who had indicated they wanted their child in one of the digital classes meant that some children missed out, Mr Read said.

However, pupils in other classes who had tablets or laptops were allowed to take them to class as well. The school would see how this year's digital classes went and consider demand before introducing further classes, he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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