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State Schools Left Behind in iPad Revolution

Tuesday 11th January 2011

iPads are used as an integral part of lessons across the curriculum at the independent Cedar school in Greenock, Scotland. The Cedar school of excellence in Greenock, an independent school, is thought to be the first in the world where all lessons are taught using iPads. It is one of a growing number of independent schools and academies that are spending many thousands of pounds kitting their pupils out with mobile technology such as iPads and iPod Touches.

Fraser Speirs, head of computing and IT at the 105-pupil Cedar school, where every child has an iPad, has found "iPad-based teaching is producing increased levels of engagement both in class and with homework and study at home".

The iPads are working particularly well with the youngest pupils in the school. "They pick it up and very quickly learn how to use it. They use it for things like phonics and it helps them with focusing and concentration. They spend more time doing tasks on an iPad than if they are using pencil and paper," says Fraser Speirs, head of computing and IT at the 105-pupil Cedar school.

Many teachers, this week, will be checking out the latest educational gadgets at the Bett Show at Olympia in London, but those in state schools may feel left behind. Technology, one of the most expensive areas in schools, has been among the first departments affected by cuts to funding. The e-Learning Foundation has warned that two million children in Britain have no internet connection at home and said it feared the gap between rich and poor pupils’ performance at school would widen. Some schools that have had their funding cut are asking parents to contribute towards the cost of IT equipment in schools, but they are also concerned that this will leave the poorest families struggling, or widen the gap in the standard and amount of resources available in different schools.


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