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ipads in GHS Guildford

(15 Posts)
Fulmar Thu 07-Feb-19 17:53:49

Does anyone have any experience or observations (good or bad) about the use of ipads in primary and secondary school? Our DS is starting at GHS Y7 in September and I believe GHS make a lot of use of ipads and I'm not sure whether this is good or not. I have asked the school but would be interested in any thoughts from others.

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Poppyred25 Thu 07-Feb-19 21:27:13

Yes iPad use is very common in leading independent schools. Surbiton High is another United learning school and iPads are used for learning, it's fully explained by the school at the open days and parents meeting when you join. The cost of the iPad is included in the fees. It means less carrying around of text books and printing out of paper. Follow Jose Picardo on social media, he set up the iPad use at Surbiton and has now moved to another United Learning school - Hampshire Collegiate school.

Fulmar Thu 07-Feb-19 21:53:03

Thank you, I will take a look at that. Although we use ipads at home I wasn't aware that some schools used them so extensively. We missed the open day at GHS so missed the information.

BTW, meant DD, not DS.


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Pluginwall Thu 07-Feb-19 22:00:15

iPads are very fashionable and save money on textbooks; however, they limit social interaction in breaks, often disrupt lessons and are disastrous for children with dyslexia. It is telling that tech executives in Silicon Valley send their own children to tech-free schools

sollyfromsurrey Sat 09-Feb-19 18:38:07

There is a bit of jumping on bandwagons with schools adopting Ipads for school use. As mentioned before, some of the leading lights in Silicon Valley have eschewed technology-heavy schools. The problem isn't the tech per se, it is that the schools have not integrated stringent enough restrictions for them. Several schools who initially pushed ahead have reigned back considerably on Ipad use. They can be a great tool but only when used judiciously and with good limits and restrictions.

Fulmar Sat 09-Feb-19 19:21:58

Thanks Solly. Can you tell me which schools have reduced their reliance on ipads, and when they decided to do that?

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Rosieposy4 Sat 09-Feb-19 19:56:01

I teach in an iPad school and generally find them very useful, my main reservation is kids not having one for whatever reason ( it’s in repair miss, yes well look after the bloody thing then).
We don’t allow use at break or lunch unless it is pissing it down outside.
Kids misusing them in lessons is a teacher control matter, over milennia teenagers have tried to find ways not to engage with their tasks, and if it’s not iPads it’s phones, or staring out the window. I suspect most teachers at iPad schools are pretty used to keeping an eye on what the students are doing.
We do have written into the student/parent/school contract that staff can look at a student’s iPad at any time, and a whole heap of stuff about what is not permitted eg
I certainly don’t find them disastrous for dyslexia, the ability to change font, background colour of documents is beneficial, as is the “reading text” option. It also allows subtle delivery of more scaffolded resources to struggling students.

Furthermath Sat 09-Feb-19 20:04:41

Not ipads, but my DCs school have almost all of their textbooks online plus lots of other resources to the extent that they would have really struggled with GCSEs if they hadn't had online access.

Technology is not all bad. The only problem I found was making sure that they weren't just watching You Tube when they should have been studying. Very difficult as there are some great resources on You Tube for study so you can't just block the whole thing.

Fifthtimelucky Sun 10-Feb-19 11:44:59

My girls were at GHS and iPads were introduced while they were there. They had normal text books too. The only thing that was replaced entirely by the iPad was the old planner (diary).

One of my daughters is dyslexic and the iPad didn't cause her any problems and I'm not aware that they ever disrupted lessons or restricted social interaction either.

In my experience GHS is very good at monitoring and reviewing the impact of any change, so I'm sure they will be happy to discuss with you what they found and to answer any questions.

Lara53 Sun 10-Feb-19 19:01:39

Most prep schools are using iPads or similar in many curriculum areas. The pupils are taught to use them as another tool to enhance learning - not replacing teachers/ textbooks/ novels etc. I work in one of the local schools which feed GHS and other independent schools.

Fulmar Sun 10-Feb-19 20:22:27

Thank you. We were under the impression that they were used almost exclusively in all lessons for all subjects, and had replaced all textbooks and all written work. Which, as I know from experience at my own work, is not always the best, quickest or most effective way to do things. And I don't understand how, for instance in maths a teacher can follow what work the child has done in solving a problem unless they see the workings step-by-step, which is easy to do with pencil and paper but not on an ipad.

Although schools obviously need to help students engage with modern technology, they also need to show them other ways of working, researching, analysing etc, not just screen based methods. And kids to be honest don't seem to need much help with using technology.

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misshalfglass Mon 11-Feb-19 12:05:34

To an extent I suppose we have to trust the school that the teachers are using an ipad properly. What I think is hard is that the child will always "need" the ipad for homework. Hard to police at home... very difficult to block everything on them...are they spending all that time doing homework?!

tarheelbaby Tue 12-Feb-19 13:11:34

I teach at HCS with the aforementioned José Picardo.

The iPads themselves don't seem to affect socialising. Most pupils use their own phones (full of their photos/videos/apps/music) for that.

The iPads work well for me and for pupils. They are used alongside traditional methods and as a teaching tool but not the sole focus. We have textbooks and exercise books too and certainly in my department, most of the work pupils do still happens there.

In a lesson, pupils can research/gather information as directed or watch a video about a topic or revise on a variety of apps chosen by the teacher. Pupils know they only use iPads when directed in the lesson.

One way they are especially useful is that pupils use them in place of planners/agendas to access a homework management app. Since GHS is part of UL (like HCS and Surbiton), I'd expect that it uses SparkJar too. This handy app has been the absolute end of 'I didn't catch the assignment/forgot to write it in my planner/lost my planner, etc.' Also the app has a chat function so that pupils can ask teachers or each other for help. This solves the 'I didn't understand what to do' problem. Teachers can chat directly to the whole class or specifically to single pupils. In addition to all that, teachers can post copies of worksheets (I couldn't find my sheet = no longer an issue), for direct annotation or not, and photos of or links to other resources (I forgot my book = again not an issue). When pupils submit work through the app, teachers can give feedback/marking at their convenience and even 're-set' the assignment so that pupils need to act on the comments. I often ask pupils to photograph and upload their written work so that I can preview it and make suggestions. Then when I take in the books, I mark the assignment directly on the page so they have a permanent copy.

The app sends e-mails to parents with links so that parents can see what assignments pupils have and if they are keeping up with the work set.

Pupils LOVE their iPads. They carry them everywhere and treat them well. Fingers crossed, no pupil has yet said to me 'it's out of charge' or 'I left it at home' or worse ...

Fulmar Tue 12-Feb-19 23:11:54

Thank you Tarheelbaby. Your reply is very illuminating. Your description of how they are used is what I hoped would be the case, but have not been able to ascertain yet. I suppose they could be used differently at GHS but I will use your description to help me with a discussion with GHS soon.

Just to confirm - written (pen and paper) work s still done and some textbooks are still used?

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tarheelbaby Fri 22-Feb-19 13:48:13

Fulmar yes, absolutely - written work in exercise books, on test papers and alongside textbooks. Depending on the teacher and subject, some lessons will use the iPad more and some less but we all know that public exams are still handwritten so pupils need to be prepared for that. I've been really pleased with how useful the iPads have turned out to be.

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