Digital Learning

iPad (Years 7-11)

Education in the 21st Century takes place in a dynamically changing environment. Beyond the foundational curriculum-specific skills, students need to be able to utilise technological resources effectively, efficiently, and ethically. At Salesian College, we firmly believe in our mission of “Educating for Life” as we aim to inspire high level creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication amongst our students, assisting them to excel academically, and inspiring life-long learning whilst also cultivating Christian character.

Today, technology is found on our desktops, as well as in our briefcases, rucksacks, and pockets. Use of mobile technology is now commonplace in the world outside of the classroom. We believe that the use of mobile technology in the classroom, coupled with personalised teaching strategies and access to quality electronic resources will change the way our students connect, communicate, and collaborate within their learning environment and beyond. Educational use of mobile technology will provide the advantage of extending learning beyond the traditional time and space constraints of the school day.

The ability to access and use mobile technology appropriately and effectively is essential for students and teachers in today’s world. At Salesian College, all teachers and all students in Years 7 to 11 are issued with an individual iPad to support learning through digital media. As a mobile device, the iPad is accessible, media rich, creative, collaborative, and connected. It also offers a secure and robust operating system, and Apple have, in recent years, developed software and management systems to enable effective use and monitoring in the classroom. An iPad in the hands of each of our students and teachers is a powerful tool and will assist in the development of every individual as a lifelong learner. Our research shows that within the classroom, the iPad is best used when it is incorporated into, but does not dominate, learning activities. It can open up possibilities that were not available to the learner in the past. Sometimes the iPad’s role will be minor, perhaps enhancing a text book with an animation or video and sometimes it will be revolutionary as the iPad and associated Apps provide a window into a whole new world of learning.

Under the guidance of Salesian staff, students will enjoy the experience of a variety of teaching and learning strategies which are not available to students in a traditional classroom. We are committed to using technology to supplement and enrich our learning environment and it is our intention that students will:

•   grow academically in a personalised learning environment

•   learn to navigate the digital world effectively and with Christian discernment

•   increasingly employ a variety of communication skills to share and extend their learning

•   gain understanding of cultural and societal issues associated with the use of technology

•   connect safely with other learners around the globe

Teachers are committed to undertaking an on-going programme of training and have access to developmental opportunities to raise their awareness of the effective use of the iPad in the classroom and to develop their skills further. Students are also involved in development work through our “Digital Leaders” programme. Student Digital Leaders meet regularly as part of the School Council programme to advise, research and lead on aspect of the development of digital learning.

The timeline below details key developments in our digital learning programme:

Teachers use iPad technology in their classroom activities as best fits the particular learning and teaching requirements of the lesson. We use many iPad Apps to enrich and supplement our traditional resources, thereby helping to enhance students’ learning. Teachers continue to review and identify iPad Apps that may, in due course, replace traditional learning resources if they are equivalent or better. The iPad also allows instant and constant access to our Virtual Learning Environment (Frog) which already contains a wealth of material designed to support students in their learning.

We were pleased and proud to be awarded ‘Apple Distinguished School’ status by Apple in September 2021. This accolade was achieved following assessment of our digital learning programme by Apple. The assessors were particularly impressed with our vision for the impact of the use of digital technology across the school, with its use for assessment purposes and with our use of Apple Classroom. We have created a separate web page detailing your journey to Apple Distinguished School status. This can be accessed via the ‘Academic’ tab on the College website.

Salesian College iPad devices have been sourced from a respected and experienced educational supplier and are managed centrally and remotely by our IT Support Staff. We are clear that each iPad must be seen as a personal educational tool to be used for learning purposes; it is not a personal iPad. Software installed on teachers’ iPad devices enables them to monitor and control each student’s use of their iPad in every classroom.

Ultimately the College intends to provide access to a learning environment within which the iPad is just one resource amongst many, both traditional and modern, thereby replicating provision in the wider world of work which students will eventually enter. Salesian College intends to become an expert provider of this increasingly standard feature of Independent Education.

 

Bring Your Own Device (Sixth Form)

What is ‘Bring Your Own Device’?

Over the past two years, the College has introduced the use of iPads for all staff and students in Years7-11 as an aid to learning, with great success.

We believe that our Sixth Form students should also benefit from having an electronic device to assist them in their studies. After consulting with both staff and students, it has been decided that the best way to achieve this is to introduce a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) scheme.

This will allow students to bring in a personal electronic device of their choice and use it for work. Whilst in College they will have access to the internet, VLE and shared areas via our Wi-Fi network. If the device supports the installation of Foldr, they will also be able to access files saved on the College computer network.

It is felt that offering this freedom and flexibility for Sixth Form students will help to encourage them to take greater responsibility for their own learning and find a style of working best suited to their individual subject choices.

Which device should you use?

All students have access to the online Microsoft Office apps via their College Office 365 account. However, these apps have limited functionality. Therefore, any device must be able to support the installation of the full Microsoft Office apps.

When deciding on a device, it is important to consider your subject choices and the type of work you will be doing. This may determine factors such as whether or not you will use a keyboard, what software you have to install and how much storage space you need.

If you choose to purchase a new device, it may also be worth considering how it will benefit you beyond your time in Sixth Form (e.g. university or work).

To help you to decide which device to use, the examples below show four students, the subjects they study and the type of device best suited to those subjects:

Student 1

Studies Maths, Further Maths, Physics & Chemistry

The device is mainly used for taking notes, accessing online resources and completing past papers, but little extended writing. The option to hand write makes setting out calculations easier.

Uses an Apple iPad with Apple Pencil

Student 2

Studies English, Drama, Music & Business Studies

This student needs a keyboard to assist with essay writing in some subjects. The device also needs to run specialist software for Music and have an intuitive user interface well-suited to design and musical composition.

Uses an Apple MacBook Air

Student 3

Studies Maths, Economics, Politics & History

These subjects require a mix of typed essays, online research and handwritten notes. The student needs the functionality of a laptop, but with the ability to switch between keyboard and stylus.

Uses a Microsoft Surface
(An iPad with keyboard and Apple Pencil could also be used)

Student 4

Studies English, History, Classics & Philosophy

The device is used for extended writing, accessing electronic textbooks and internet research. The student uses a keyboard in all subjects and would benefit from a full desktop.

Uses a Windows laptop