Oakwood High School is leading the way with a pioneering classroom project that will harness the latest ICT technology to improve the education and independent learning of all its pupils.
All 1,000 plus pupils at the Rotherham School are to be given their own iPod Touch. The revolutionary scheme begins this summer with staff starting the training process that will see them ready for the launch of the project to all pupils in June 2013.
The next few months will also see essential work on installing the latest Wi-Fi technology.
The school will be the first in South Yorkshire and one of only a handful throughout the country to have invested in state of the art technology.
Headteacher David Naisbitt said: “Oakwood is an extremely good school that I am very proud of,”
“Our exam results are rising and last year pupils made outstanding progress but we are not complacent."
“We are committed to giving pupils the very best. All our pupils deserve 21stcentury learning opportunities that are personalised to them.”
He added that funding for the project was found from the school’s existing ICT budget.
“This is not about cost but about the development of learning and teaching within our school ” he said.
“The i-Pod Touch is a great learning tool and will, we feel, encourage independent and creative thinking. We are preparing our pupils for the future, to be able to succeed at College and University.”
Under the new scheme, all Oakwood pupils will have access to the internet for research and revision without the need to book computer rooms or be in a classroom.
This provides a one to one device to pupil ratio. In addition, pupils and staff will be able to use their iPod Touch interactively in lessons, create podcasts, movies, and animations, translate into home language, carry a lifetime of books in their pockets and ask and answer their own questions.
Staff and Governors are very excited about the opportunities this will bring.
“We had planned further investment in ICT on the site and have chosen to invest in something new and exciting rather than simply refresh our existing facilities,” said Mr. Naisbitt.
“We believe this will be a more flexible way for our pupils to go about their studies and the planning of their daily school lives as this technology is so versatile.”
Mr. Naisbitt added that the scheme was in addition to and not a replacement for existing and more traditional educational tools.
“Children still need to sit exams and they still need to think, read, write, communicate and listen to each other,” he said.
“There is no need to worry that the school will be losing its library or removing text books – this is about adding to existing facilities, not replacing them."
“As we enter our 60th anniversary year we believe Oakwood is a forward thinking, progressive school and this project will give our pupils the technology to be both creative and independent, which is what education should be about.”