Press release: October 2008
Future at their fingertips
The future is at the fingertips of Year 7 pupils in two Blackburn with Darwen high schools, who have each been given a handheld computer to test how the internet can be used for ‘anywhere, anytime’ learning.
The new intakes at both Darwen Vale and Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High schools have been issued with the small ‘ultra mobile’ PCs as part of a trial project to find out how technology will influence education in the future. The humanities department at St Bede’s High School is also trialling the mini laptops.
Pupils will be able to use the devices in lessons and take them home to complete school work. The computers will enable them to log on to the interactive schools portal – known as the learning platform – to see their homework assignments, take part in class discussion forums and link up with pupils in other classes and schools.
It’s all part of a drive towards personalised learning in the BSF schools, with lessons and homework based on individual ability in the future rather than meeting the different needs of a whole class.
It’s thought pupils will benefit from studying with the latest technology, which they are familiar with and, importantly, enjoy using.
Darwen Vale headteacher Lynn Dunning said: “Children will be able to work at their own speed, do their own research around topics and work together and independently to learn beyond set homework. Using modern technology helps prepare them for the world of work."
Mufti Hamid Patel, principal at Tauheedul, said: "Our Year 7s are very excited by the prospect of being able to use innovative technology to try learning in new and engaging ways and contribute to the learning of all young people in the borough in the coming years."
Pupils will be monitored throughout the school year to see how they are benefiting from learning online.
If the mobile learning project is a success, it will be rolled out to other schools and year groups and as the BSF programme becomes a reality, all pupils will eventually have their own hand-held computer device for 24/7 learning.