“It deh yha!! wha really deh yha? it deh yha!! Wha really deh yha? Ohhhhh a di tablets wi a talk!!” a group of exhilarated students from Clan Carthy Primary stated.
In 2014 the exciting announcement was made that 25,000 tablet computers would be distributed to 38 schools under the Tablets in Schools (TIS) Pilot Project. What are these 38 schools you ask? These 38 schools include pre-primary, primary, all-age and junior high, as well as high, special education and teacher training institutions island-wide.
Driven to improve the Jamaican education system, the Government of Jamaica is utilizing technology to improve the educational levels of its citizenry and move towards a fully connected and knowledge-based society. On the same hand, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM) with the responsibility for Information and Communication Technology interventions and solutions, is desirous of utilizing tablet computer devices to increase learning opportunities for students in approximately 1000 schools in Jamaica, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE). Bearing this in mind the Tablets in School (TIS) Project was launched with the following goals
- Support student and teacher research
- Foster improved parent/guardian-child relationship
- Build competence in the use of tablets
- Increase willingness to read for leisure
- Equip teachers and persons at neighbouring access points with the required skills to assist and facilitate learners accessing online resources
- Increase homework completion rates and interest in schools
- To change the teaching and learning process over time with students assuming more responsibility for their learning and teachers becoming facilitators rather than a repository of knowledge in the classroom
So what has the project achieved so far?
- Approximately 25,000 tablets have been distributed to the 38 schools in the project
- Technology Management Team trained to ensure success of project
- Electronic content from 19 content suppliers being placed on each student’s computer tablet
- Over 1,100 teachers trained in the integration of the use of the tablets within the classroom
- The project has stimulated the interest of students and increased attendance in schools
- Improved quality of work and attitudes towards learning by students
The TIS project is still on going with teachers and students integrating the device in lessons. Continue to look out for updates as we seek to keep you posted on the progress of the TIS Project.