When old meets new

Traditional learning is meeting the digital age as one of the UK’s oldest independent schools for girls leads the way in new technology

Loughborough High School in Leicestershire, part of Loughborough Endowed Schools, will host a special conference on Tuesday 10th February 2015 entitled ‘A Tablet for Every Pupil’, to share their experiences with schools considering the deployment of tablets to pupils and teachers.

It was one of the first independent schools in the country to go 1:1 with iPad, and this conference is an opportunity for school leaders, governors and decision-makers to hear more about the deployment and the decision-making behind it.

A speaker from Apple will deliver the keynote session, and staff from the school will discuss issues surrounding their IT vision including finance, governance, technical insights and teaching and learning. There will also be a chance to find out about the rollout of iPads to younger pupils at Fairfield Preparatory School and take part in workshops on a variety of subjects.

Gwen Byrom, Headmistress at the school believes IT provision varies depending on the needs of pupils, staff and parents and the vision of the individual school.She said: “To achieve the rollout of iPads there was a significant amount of work to do on our IT infrastructure. We also worked to establish our philosophy regarding filtering and use of devices in the classroom, how we converted this into our policies and how we would communicate the rollout to parents.

“We see this not as a one-off capital investment, but as a fundamental and evolving part of school life. Our pupils have played a key role in this and have made some interesting suggestions – they also staff our help desk. I’m sure that as new generations of devices come along they will be the first to show them to us.”

A former study area at the High School has now been transformed into a student-led iPad help facility called the Genius Bar.

A group of pupils are on hand during lunchtimes to provide device and app support to pupils and staff. Known as the Genii, they have helped set up iPads during the rollout, led workshops for parents, and provided support for teachers and students in the classroom.

Dr Sue Jackson, Director of Studies at the school and iPad project lead, said the idea behind the facility is to use the students’ digital knowledge to educate others.

“Teachers are experts in education and we don’t want them to feel forced into becoming IT experts as well. Their acknowledgement of student expertise and willingness to learn from students and allow pupils to learn from each other makes the iPad project a partnership.”