iPads - not just for play
Since 2014, CIS students in grades 4 to 6 have been bringing their own iPads to school each day and using them as a tool to support learning. In August 2022, grade 3s will also bring their own devices.
There is often much debate about young children and technology, however, the educational benefits were exceptionally clear as to how these devices can be used in meaningful ways to create engaging 21st century learning experiences.
The CIS digital literacy team conducted extensive and in-depth research to understand how much time devices should be used, and how they should be adopted to support inquiry based learning and student reflection.
The right use of technology can enhance learning
It all begins with selecting apps that are appropriate in our educational context. The right apps will open up new creative expression possibilities and support a diverse range of learning styles.
With this, students can realise, and share, their ideas in more ways than before, from composing music on GarageBand to bringing stories to life with Keynote. For example, in the ‘How the world works’ unit in grade 3, students learn to programme robots and resultantly demonstrate energy forms with Lego WeDo.
iPads also allow teachers to tailor lessons and assignments to each student’s unique learning style and needs. This can offer students additional support, and help individual proficiency levels and/or boost their confidence in learning.
It is all about balance
The use of iPads does not spell the end of pen and paper. Instead, our teachers use the devices to complement our existing approaches. Educational screen time will be limited to blocks of 30 minutes or less, while offline learning activities will continue as they always have.
Grade 3 parents might not want their child bringing their devices home daily, so we’ve invested in lockable secure storage units with charging capabilities for students to securely store their iPads at school.
Technology is everywhere in our daily lives
In a guided school environment, teachers can better help students navigate the digital space safely. These digital literacy skills not only give them a competitive edge in future, but empower them to behave safely and participate responsibly online.
We have shared our philosophy and listened to parent feedback on a regular basis, and many grade 3 parents actively joined our information sessions to learn what the digital advantage means for their children and how they can support this transition. It is an exciting time as our CIS community works together to redefine the learning experience for our future-ready students!