At a workshop for principals in the Tablets in Schools (TIS) Pilot Project, the achievements under the Project to date were discussed, along with some challenges to overcome. They also reviewed plans for improvements to the Project in the upcoming school year.
Participants at the workshop included principals, members of the Technology Management Teams (TMT) in the schools, education officers, as well as training officers and implementation officers from e-Learning Jamaica (e-LJam). They reviewed all aspects of the TIS including issues with the tablets, connectivity, content, training and integration, safety and security, and usage and care.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Fair to excellent cooperation from parents
- Low rate of damage to tablets (e.g. Alpha Infant)
- Greater levels of research and engagement by students
- Improved punctuality and attendance
- Fewer acts of indiscipline including fights (e.g. Winston Jones High)
- Inconsistent internet service
- Malfunction of some software
- Upgrades needed to block inappropriate sites
- Parents borrowing tablets for their own use
- Tedious process for reporting stolen tablets to police
Suggestions for Improvement
- Principals must facilitate greater collaboration within school to share best practices
- Teachers should share best practices, including lesson plans by email and social media blasts
- Educational Officers should be more visible in schools in helping Project work
- Principals should establish policies to measure and evaluate tablet use
- Schools need greater control of network to access online resources
- Increased monitoring of students by parents needed, including downloading relevant apps
- Better scheduling of internet use in schools to enable access for all students
- Closer bond needed between TMT, teachers and Education Officers
So what are the pros and cons of using tablets in schools? Tell us of your experience.
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