Supplying Apple iPad technology and supporting change at Ely St Mary’s Junior School, Ely, Cambridgeshire
In March 2012, Ely St Mary’s Junior School in Ely,Cambridgeshire needed to expand from its three classes per year group to a cohort of four classes per year group.
Before engaging The ICT Service to support this significant change, the school had assessed its current situation which was operating fully within a Microsoft environment. It was determined that a large percentage of their classroom technology and hardware had become unworkable with its limited life. It was apparent that the current ICT set up was no longer helping pupils to learn nor was it supporting teaching.
Ely St Mary’s set up a working party, consisting of the school’s management team, finance officer, governor and ICT subject leader, and was tasked with seeking an up-to date and more flexible environment for learning and teaching. Finding a modern solution was a target set to be implemented within two terms, to be ready for the new academic year in September 2012. The ICT Service was approached to meet with the working party and consider the school’s current arrangement and then devise a range of options and implement the change over the summer holiday period.
Representatives from The ICT Service curriculum team, technical services and sales team contributed, using their extensive expertise and experience to suggest, advise and guide the working party through a number of options from simply replacing current hardware to investigating mobile technology solutions.
The ICT Service also attended a staff meeting with a loan set of Apple iPads that helped the whole staff to explore the potential of iPad mobile technology to support learning and teaching.
The final implementation resulted in the installation of a new managed wireless network and the school has invested in mobile technology by leasing 45 Apple iPad devices with the iOS operating system from The ICT Service. The ICT Service curriculum team have also worked with the school to devise a specific strategy and curriculum plan. The ICT Service continues to support the school fully with its mobile device management and web filtering using Lightspeed systems.
‘The iPads were a huge leap forward for our school in regards to ICT. Leaving behind our computer suite and beginning to use these much more portable, exciting devices was something we wanted to plan carefully. There have been a number of technical issues to resolve during the setup of the iPads however overall, they have been a success.
‘Both staff and children have been able to use them for some exciting projects using APPS such as imovie, to make short films and trailers. Popplet has been very popular with Year 3, as we have been teaching the children how to mind map to aid their writing. Book creator has seen the children transform their writing into some wonderful books to read online or paper copies. Puppet Pals has been a useful tool for some of our children who find accessing the curriculum difficult as it is a great way of expressing their ideas visually. The latest app that has been a success is the voice recorder as it is a great was of assessing as well as creating radio shows or spoken stories.
‘We wanted a WOW factor for our school and the iPads have definitely provided this…. If only we had more!’
Emily Carr, Ely St Mary’s Junior School