OFSTED Outstanding school switches to touchscreens

Toftwood Infant School replaces whiteboards with large format interactive touchscreen technology

Within six months of trialling interactive touchscreen technology, Toftwood Infant School replaced the whiteboards in all 12 classrooms with large format interactive touchscreens from Philips, supplied by Tiny Green PC and installed by ISDN.

Whiteboard issues

At Toftwood Infant School, around 40 teachers and support staff educate 300 pupils aged from between three to seven years. Always oversubscribed, the school has also been twice graded outstanding by OFSTED since 2007.

In 2002, the Headteacher, Mrs Joanna Pedlow, made her first step into the interactive teaching arena with the installation of interactive whiteboards across all classrooms. However, the continuous upkeep and renewal of the projectors and more importantly replacement of lamps was becoming an expensive process.

This, along with outdated software, hard to view, faded images, continuous requirement to re-calibrate the projectors and ‘shadowing’ (when a user creates a barrier between the projector and the whiteboard) has led to the school needing a different approach – so they looked at touchscreen technology.

Touchscreen trial

On Philips’ recommendation, the school decided to take part in the trial of the Philips BDL6524ET supplied by Tiny Green PC and installed by ISDN over a two-week period. The unit was installed into the computing suite on an electronic lift enabling the screen to be set at different heights so all classes could have the benefit of using the screen within their lessons.

The screen was connected to one of the school’s own computers to provide the best possible trial, enabling all users to work with familiar software and also providing access to use the school’s public file database when required. 

Six months after the initial demonstration, Toftwood Infant School has installed 12 touchscreens throughout the school with the Philips Flagship BDL6524ET taking pride of place in all classrooms and the main school hall. There is a mixture of standard and anti-glare models and the installation also required four electronic lifts, enabling the younger and smaller children as well as those within wheelchairs the ability to use the screens with no restricted access.

Staff reaction

Toftwood staff share their Headteacher’s enthusiasm for the new technology. Mrs Wood, Infants Teacher, said: “Since I’ve had my new Philips touchscreen installed, the children have a clear, high-definition image and we now have the ability to practise collaborative learning due to the five touch points on the new screen. The implementation of the touchscreen into my classroom has certainly been a benefit for my teaching environment.” 

Miss Kelsey Hooper, Infants Teacher and Computing Subject Leader, added: “My colleagues have adopted the technology almost immediately and there have been very few issues since the roll out. We now create new lessons as a group which we then share across that year providing the same learning experience for all pupils.”

Mrs Joanna Pedlow, Headteacher, concluded: “All staff have embraced the new technology and are having a great experience using the Philips monitors as well as the RMeasiteach software which we have found extremely intuitive and easy to use. The installation was done outside of school hours and the service and support which we’ve received since the roll out has been outstanding.

“We also have a 65” screen installed into our main hall which we now use for PE lessons to teach PE and gymnastics moves and let children watch back footage of their lessons to improve their skills. Being able to showcase this technology to other schools within the area as well as parents is fantastic and will hopefully continue to make Toftwood Infant School a forerunner in educational technology.”

W: www.tinygreenpc.com 

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