Staff and students at Albany have been trialling products that can help teachers get the most out of technology in the classroom.
Two staff from Albany, Miss Goulding (English Teacher) and Helen Noble (Head of the Technology faculty) attended the ‘ICT for Education’ conference in December. While at this exhibition they were able to create a partnership with Getech who were offering a month’s trial on a range of devices. Albany were sent approximetly £8000 worth of technology. These included HP, Dell and Acer notebooks, HP Slates and Samsung Galaxy tablets all of which were Chromebooks (meaning they operate on Google Chrome OS).
Initially, the devices were used in the in the English classroom. The notebooks were fantastic and the students loved using them. However, the slates and tablets were not as user friendly when it came to creating documents that required typing any length of text. To overcome this issue, Angela Goulding who was leading the trial moved to an existing computer room this enabled half of the class to work on Notebooks whilst the remainder of the class used the desktops – the pupils swapped and changed devices from lesson to lesson.
Utilising the range of technology enabled the students to work on a variety of different media. Students created: podcasts, short radio stories and videos. In addition to this, classwork was set on Google Classroom which meant it was available to pupils both in and out of school as long as they had access to the internet. This was fantastic as it meant if work was not finished in class it could be finished at home or homework club and as all of the documents are stored on the Cloud.
English teacher, Miss Goulding, said, “I had instant access to all of my students work, meaning I could also view the work and advise or feedback instantly rather than having to wait until the following day to collect the students books off them. Using the Classroom to deliver lesson content also meant that students could revisit learning materials if they had not quite understood whilst in lesson and perhaps one of its most appealing qualities was that students who were absent could also access lessons and catch up at their own pace. My favourite example of this relates to Year 10 student who was off school ill. Year 10’s lesson had just begun when I received an email form the absent student asking what he had to do. I was able to explain the aim of the lesson and his friend, who was in school, shared with him a document and they worked collaboratively for the rest of the lesson despite only one of them actually being in the lesson.
As well as facilitating new and exciting learning opportunities it was fantastic in terms of engagement and participation. The whole experience was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Year 10 student Chloe, said "It was fantastic, it was so easy to use and it was great that the teacher could check our progress during lessons." Fellow Year 10 student Shirley said, "It really helped with my spelling and I found the programmes so easy to use."