1. How will tablet PCs enhance learning?
We believe that tablet PCs create more authentic, engaged and connected learning experiences. It allows teachers and students to utilise real world data, to solve more complex problems, to create simulations and ask deeper "what if" questions. It allows our students greater access to Cognito, to initiate communication with their teachers, as well as using the latest, subject specific software. It also allows for differentiated learning – the pace, content and the processes can be tailored to the individual needs of the student, creating increased flexibility in classrooms and ready spontaneous access for all students.
2. Will my daughter still learn to communicate and socialise if she is using a tablet PC in the classroom?
Technology remains an important part of teaching and learning in SCEGGS' classrooms. Individual tablet PCs are a flexible educational tool that enhances learning and has removed the need for students to move to a computer lab or to share classroom computers. Tablet PCs are not used for every part of every lesson, nor do they replace traditional forms of communication between students, or between students and staff, such as class discussions, group work, pen and paper tasks, oral presentations and other learning activities. Students are also be discouraged from using these devices in the playground to ensure that they still have plenty of time to communicate and socialise with each other in traditional ways.
3. Will my daughter be using the tablet PC constantly?
Definitely not! The tablet PC is only one of many tools that is used to deliver the desired teaching and learning outcomes for your daughter. We aim to achieve a balance between tablet PC use and other activities in the classroom. Each teacher determines the amount of computer use according to the Year group, the time of year and the subject and topics they are teaching.
4. Will my daughter still learn to write with paper and pen?
While we understand the importance of developing skills in word processing, our students also continue to develop their handwriting through the use of pen and paper in the classroom. The tablets are used to support this through the use of the tablet pen, however, students do continue to practise and develop the style, quality and length of their handwritten work.
There is also increasing evidence in the wider community that many students take very different sorts of notes in class if using a computer. Rather than trying to understand the concepts and record ideas clearly and succinctly, students are tempted to try and include many more verbatim quotes from the teacher or university lecturer, which means they are actually learning less at the time! For this reason, we will continue to encourage our girls to develop their skills in taking effective notes in handwritten form as well as digitally.
And while students continue to sit for a variety of external examinations such as NAPLAN and the HSC that are all still handwritten, we will continue to teach and practice handwriting skills in the classroom.
5. Will the tablet PC replace textbooks altogether?
No. We continue to recommend the textbooks and other printed resources that best support the teaching and learning in the classroom. While an increasing number of textbooks and other printed resources can be stored digitally on the laptop or accessed via CD or online, not every such resource is available in digital form as yet.
6. How will staff address girls being distracted in class with computer games, non-relevant websites and chat rooms?
Just the way they have always done! Good classroom management ensures that teachers know what girls are doing in class, that they ensure they are focused and working productively. Teachers also monitor the completion of homework and the handing in of required work to ensure students are meeting all their expectations for good work habits. When asked to do so, the SCEGGS ICT Department may examine logs of student online activities to confirm that our students' activities are appropriate.
7. Will my daughter do all her exams on the tablet PC too?
No. At this stage, the majority of examinations are completed using pen and paper. Some assessments, assignments and tests are also being done on paper, and partially using technology. Our teachers choose the most appropriate vehicle for the communication of knowledge and understanding, to judge what students know and can do.
8. How does the School assess the success of the 1:1 tablet program?
Staff and students are regularly consulted throughout the year on all aspects of teaching and learning, including the 1:1 tablet program, using processes such as informal discussions and surveys. Parents are also asked specific questions about the 1:1 tablet program as part of our biennial parent survey, last conducted in 2015. We also use all available data to monitor the impact of the program on the education of our girls.