Students and teachers at Rennock Lodge All Age and Infant School have taken on an air of confidence following the introduction of the Tablets in Schools Pilot Project last school year.
“My teachers have become technology savvy and are now experts at using tablets. They are more confident because they have been through a lot of training, courtesy of e-Learning Jamaica”, Ms. Tolima Anderson the acting Principal noted, adding “The tablets have opened doors for both teachers and students. They feel they can do anything that anyone else in the world can do. Attendance and punctuality have improved“.
Located in East Kingston, the small institution with only 78 students registered was not known for producing top performers in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). However the TIS Project has created a change at the institution, with both students and teachers working harder to accomplish goals they never had before.
Topping the class last year were Dujon Brown and Kayla McKnight, who averaged 83 per cent and 72.3 per cent respectively in their GSAT exams. Dujon now attends Camperdown High School, while Kayla is at Dunoon Park Technical High School.
Josiah Hall is one of the students hoping to do well in GSAT next March with the help of his tablet. “I use the tablet to find words in the dictionary and to play maths games. I am glad we have tablets at our school”, he told e-Learning Jamaica Today.
The TIS Project has lifted the morale of the staff of nine teachers.
The Project has been particularly useful in this multi-grade school, as one teacher is sometimes required to teach three grade levels at once.
“For example I will record a class and send it (the audio recording) to my students’ tablets. Or I will play it though my speakers, and students can go to the pages of the book, so I don’t have to be in the class physically to reinforce what they have done before”, explained Ms Anderson. “My students are excited and eager to learn; they have been using the tablets since late September “.
Rennock Lodge was among the first schools where the tablets were redistributed in October, following their temporary recall for servicing and uploading of educational content.
Of note is that “all tablets were turned in” during the recall exercise – none was outstanding, Ms. Anderson said.
Only a few new students in the ASTEP programme at the school had not yet received their tablets since the school year started. ASTEP is a remedial programme for students in what was formerly grades seven to nine in the all age school.