Principal, Michael Williams, and deputy principal, Billy Merchant from Pakuranga College, explain their change in pedagogy from telling students which device to purchase to being providing some device specifications and allowing students to choose the device that best meets their needs. Billy says that since they've gone device agnostic, "we’ve seen greater creativity in our classroom than what we would have seen if we’d stuck with one platform, one device, one app".
Michael: The first year we had all of our students with a netbook, we leased them all and then sub-leased them to the students.
Billy: We dictated, you know a Windows laptop and we got in touch with a company that provided a bundle for us.
Michael: What a nightmare. That was to try and make our life easier, everyone having the same device so we could tell them which button to push when. We got over that, we learnt, why are we doing this? We got some more clarity about where we were going with our vision and we currently are agnostic. We talk about outcomes. I don’t care whether you’re using an apple iPad, an android pad, a Microsoft laptop, it’s irrelevant to the learning outcome so we stopped doing that, we stopped telling you to get a netbook.
Billy: We’ve seen greater creativity in our classroom than what we would have seen if we’d stuck with one platform, one device, one app.
Michael: That step we made to go device agnostic was one that worried us because we gave away some control, but that’s part of what our whole journey’s been about is learning to give up control. The specs we give our parents now are around screen size, connectivity to the web, so it must have a browser because the majority of the work is in the cloud, and it has to have a pretty good battery.