The Birmingham e-Learning Foundation (BeLF) is piloting the use of iPads by pupils in four schools in Birmingham this coming school year – Moor Green Primary, Hill West Primary, Clifton Primary and Osborne Primary. Each school has been looking at the different Apps and issues for using iPads both in the classroom and at home and all have now decided to roll-out the iPads to complete selected classes of KS2 pupils in Years 4 and 5 from the start of the new school year in September.
Since 2001, the Birmingham e-Learning Foundation has worked tirelessly with Birmingham’s schools to enhance pupils’ educational attainment. Their focus has been to help provide computers, netbooks and now the very latest iPads as well as home broadband connectivity. To date over 35,000 pupils at 45 schools in Birmingham have been supported through various programmes.
BeLF is dedicated to working with schools, parents and other partners in providing personal learning devices for ALL pupils in Birmingham. The aim is to reduce the effects of the digital divide by providing technology to aid learning both at home and school as technology is an important part of daily life. Having their own personal learning device to support their classwork motivates and raises pupils’ aspirations no matter what their circumstances.
“In some ways this is business as usual for BeLF”, explains Ian McCall, Head of BeLF, “It’s classloads of devices, supported by grants, schools and parents, focused on Teaching and Learning gains. And it’s great to see our inclusive model continuing in difficult financial times.
“There’s also genuine excitement around these pilots coming from the schools, the IT experts and especially the students, due to the new technology involved. Everyone is genuinely interested in finding out how this buzz can be captured to deliver educational benefits to these children. These pilots will test a financial model and a technical solution that a lot of schools will find very attractive.”
Miss Beth Clarke, Head Teacher at Hill West Primary School said, “We are really excited about this new initiative and know that the pupils will be too. The use of technology is imperative in a 21st Century Society and we want to prepare our pupils as best as possible, not only to be able to use it but also for it to support their learning and progress”.
Clifton Primary School, Christine Mitchell said, “We are very excited about our new iPad project and are delighted to be working with the Birmingham e-learning Foundation and taking advantage of their expertise. At Clifton we are always keen to trial innovative ways to enhance teaching and learning and embrace emerging technologies where we feel they will have a profound impact. We feel this project is an ideal way to engage with whole families and enrich the learning experiences of all and builds on our success of last year when 108 of our families benefited through the Home Access Scheme.”
An Osborne Primary School parent said, “It is an excellent idea to have iPads in school as it gives children a different perspective on learning and my daughter will be able to do more at home to improve her learning.”