E-Learning: A game changer for schools?

With the increasing introduction of iPads and tablets into schools for every pupil, what do the panel think will happen over the next 12 months? – Is it essential that each pupil has access to an iPad or tablet as an integral part of their learning?

The adoption of mobile technology to enhance teaching and learning gives greater opportunity for student engagement through the development of innovative and richer resources. One of the main challenges that needs to be overcome is to ensure that the devices are used effectively and to their full potential. Tablets and iPads open the opportunity for communication between pupils and their teachers alongside interaction with the apps available. There is also the opportunity for teachers to observe and evaluate student progress in real-time, and offer timely intervention for students within the widening learning environment. The prospect exists for learning to take place anywhere and anytime, and so making use of this technology opens exciting opportunities for future teaching and learning activities.

MarkADr Mark Anderson, department of computing, Edge Hill University


At the Blue Coat we are regularly reviewing the use of technology and how this may impact on the teaching environment, both in the short-term and long-term. Currently we’re creating a ‘bring your own device’ policy which will review how portable devices such as iPads and tablets could be used in the school for the benefit of our students. As always, we will look to test new ways of working using a pilot programme, which will then be reviewed and used to feed into our future plans and strategies regarding the integration of technology. Whilst technological advances offer exciting and innovative ways to interact in the classroom, we must ensure that they are used in a way that benefits our students and enhances the learning environment.

DebbieDebbie Silcock, headteacher, Liverpool Blue Coat School


The use of tablets and mobile devices is increasing across higher education and at John Moores, much of our innovation deals with their use in order to enrich teaching and learning. Many students and staff already use their mobile phones and tablets to read their emails, access their blackboard portal, complete, and submit work. We have recently purchased a number of devices for group work to help facilitate the gathering and sharing of information. In addition we have been developing the use of Apple TV in order to decouple lecturers from the lectern and allow greater freedom to move around teaching spaces and interact with students. We are aiming for these innovations, combined with an increase in the use of video lectures and cloud technologies, to help make our delivery of technology more flexible and engaging for students.

philPhil Rothwell, AV/IT technology technician, Liverpool John Moores University


Children have a wide range of technology at their fingertips in their home lives and unless schools keep up with this, we risk them becoming disengaged. At Roscoe we know from experience that mobile technology, and iPads in particular, is the single biggest motivator of our pupils and the best method of enhancing our curriculum. I can’t imagine returning to a classroom where children do not have access to iPads. Over the next 12 months, children will direct, select how to present and then share their own learning. Programming has a high priority in the new 2014 National Curriculum, so software and apps which support children to develop this key skill will be increasingly important as will children designing their own apps and games. Next steps for us at Roscoe include ensuring that all pupils have access to iPads at home as well as in school so that learning doesn’t stop when the school day ends.

amanda_andersAmanda Anders, headteacher, Roscoe Primary School, Liverpool

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