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Here’s how the iPad is making teachers more tech-savvy at one British school

by Doug Drinkwater

May 3 2013

Essa Academy first deployed iPod Touch to students before moving on to the iPad (Image: Screenshot from Apple video)
Essa Academy first deployed iPod Touch to students before moving on to the iPad (Image: Screenshot from Apple video)

Essa Academy was an early adopter of mobile devices in the classroom, but now says that products like the iPad are not only helping students to achieve better grades but are also educating teachers on technology too.

The school, which is based in the north west of England, revealed at the start of the year that it had deployed iPads to 840 students and all teachers, a move which enabled it to get rid of most paper books.

Almost half a year on however, and it now appears as though the school is taking the next step on from the tablet deployment.

In a video published on Apple’s website on May 2, the school principal and various teachers explained how students take their iPads home with them, and detailed how all teachers are using their tablet with an Apple TV to show information on large-screen TVs.

In both cases, the move looks to have paid off, with Essa Academy director Abdul Chohan claiming that the introduction of both the iPod Touch and iPad has helped grades rise higher than ever before.

“Around 2005/2006 we were looking at a pass rate of around 28%. So it was a real challenge and what I needed to do was to wipe the slate clean, remove the traditional [education] barriers and put a mobile device into the hands of every student," said Chohan.

"We then decided that the iPod Touch was going to be our device of choice and we saw some phenomenal things happen. We actually hit a pass rate of 100%”.

Teachers too have embraced the 9.7-inch tablet and, according to the video, are now increasingly developing their own iBooks with iBooks Author. These digital books are distributed with iTunes U, leaving teachers in agreement that the iPad is a winner for all parties.

“The iPad has revolutionized my lessons,” said Catherine Chadwick, a science teacher at the school. “It’s gone from chalk and talk, and a few scruffy textbooks to more exciting lessons. We photograph, video and search the Internet, and all these things can happen one lesson. We learn from each other and it’s just brilliant.”

A recent study from Futuresource Consulting revealed that schools, colleges and universities and ramping up their spending on hardware products, and especially tablets like the iPad.

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