Implementing 1-1 netbooks with the senior classes at Parkvale school is providing opportunities for success. The netbooks have enabled personalised learning to meet the needs of all students. The digital classrooms with bring your own devices have led to an improvement in writing, especially for boys. Students are experimenting with vocabulary and using the tool to communicate their learning to an audience. Parents are able to comment on students' work, assist them with it, and celebrate their successes. Using the netbooks means students are able to be creative, connected, and work collaboratively.
Mark Gifkins, Principal, Parkvale School
I think at Parkvale we quickly realised that to make a big difference for children is to actually provide them with a personalised base to their learning to actually meet their needs. We sort of realised that all children learn at different speeds, and they need various strategies, various techniques, and a lot of options that are gonna assist them with their learning. And so, we decided we’d try the one-to-one approach in our senior school. And we put it out as an option for the community to see whether they would like to be involved in it. And we had a tremendous response. And then we found two wonderful teachers that came on board, that had that belief that they could make a difference for children by simply giving them options, supporting them in their learning, and helping them along the way.
I think a quote I heard quite recently which sort of sums it up is, “If you teach children today, the way we learnt yesterday, we deprive them of tomorrow.” So it’s about really understanding the children, and working at their pace, and providing the tools that will assist that.
I think one of the greatest things that we’ve seen with our digital classroom and the bring your own devices is the improvement in writing, especially boys. We’ve found with boys that that pen and paper doesn’t work all the time and being able to put their work onto a laptop, onto their netbook, has made a huge difference for them because they can work at their pace. They have an audience.
Kieren Moriarty, teacher
The huge difference first of all is the engagement, so all the students in the classes, very observable, how engaged they were with having a netbook and with having the tools we are using. And then that’s translated, especially so, for writing because because of, with Teva it’s the ease of the typing and the success he is getting, and then, the other tools such as the audience really increases that, and yeah so, and I see it with their commenting, they’re writing all the time so it’s like, and we’ve, so, we’re able to build things like the quality commenting and using the language of success so you can actually build in those surface features of writing through - ok you’re representing yourself and your family at school and you want yourself to look as clever as you can so you’re using the best punctuation, the best spelling and all that, as well as getting the message.
Jody Garland, teacher
I’ve noticed a big change. Whenever I’ve asked the students to do their work by hand and then compare it to the work that they’re producing on the computer I’m seeing a huge improvement because of the experimenting with the vocabulary, the motivation behind publishing their ideas.
So many students just just love writing, and, but it’s not just writing, it’s being able to present all their learning in this, in this way. So for example, in maths we, we would not usually have the netbooks out but one maths group might be, have them out and they might be doing a reflection or follow up, or a knowledge game, but then they’re able to go after being with the teacher and use them, the tool, to communicate their learning to an audience which gives it that next step and it stays with them.
You know a netbook, it’s about being able to be creative, it’s about being connected, and it’s about working collaboratively. So in a classroom you have these children who can share what they’re creating. They get feedback from each other. They work as a team. They’ve created blogs where they can share home so it’s creating a partnership with home. The parents are being able to comment on the children’s work, assist them with it, and celebrate the wonderful successes that these children are having, and that’s what it’s about. It’s providing opportunities for success and that’s what these netbooks do for these children, especially in that writing context.