Gone are the days you sharpened your pencils to go to school!
Now we have apps, iPads and mobile phones all geared at encouraging children to learn.
This week, Coleraine Times reporter Nichola Forgrave saw how three innovative Coleraine schools are leading the way by enhancing their pupils’ learning through technology.
Killowen, Harpur’s Hill and Ballysally Primary Schools have been working together as part of an extended schools cluster.
Each of the schools have introduced iPads, purchased through extended schools funding and other funding streams, enabling children of all ages to learn through technology.
At Killowen Primary School last Thursday, the school’s youngest pupils were using the ipads to learn about letter formation. And, the primary one class all seemed delighted to get their little hands on the technology.
Principals and ICT co-ordinators from each of the schools met at Killowen last week for a ICT tutorial when each of the schools gave feedback on how they were using their tablets in all areas of the classroom.
David Radcliffe of Harpur’s Hill explained: “Everything now is technology driven.
“This is another way for us to prepare our children for the next level of education.
“The iPads are a great resource and give the children a great motivation to learn.”
Geoff Dunn Principal of Ballysally Primary added: “This is not a gimmick.
“ They are a great resource that can be transferred to all our core subjects and beyond. They also have the ability to extend the learning beyond what it going on in the classroom.”
Arlene Moon, Principal of Killowen Primary School explained the importance of ICT in the curriculum.
“Children are now assessed on ICT skills.
“Before the introduction of the iPads we maybe had three or four pupils around a computer. We can now give each pupil in a class an iPad and see how they are progressing.
“ICT is a very important skill, and as the world around us changes, our children will need these skills more and more as they progress to secondary school and on to the world of university and work.”
But, what do the children think?
Primary six pupils Robbie and Amy told The Times: “The iPads are a fun way of learning.
“We can do so many different things on them- spellings, maths and even presentation work.”