Tigtag subscriber Davenies Prep School is one of an increasing number of schools to embrace the iPad. The deal took two years to push through, but now every pupil in Year 4 has their own designated tablet with filtered content controlled by the school.
So why are iPads crucial to learning? Year 4 teacher Greg Fearon explains:
‘The biggest thing is that the children love it. You can talk about science until you are blue in the face, but if you can show it to the children, you instantly have their attention.
Obviously, practical science is important and shouldn’t be overlooked, but you only have to look at the sort of lessons we were doing before the iPads compared with now, to see the improvement.’
Among the new sorts of lessons are those driven by Tigtag; a digital resource with high-quality short films that can ‘show’ scientific concepts.
‘When pupils use Tigtag or Twig on the iPads, they are independently learning and that allows them to take possession of their work. They can also answer the big questions instantly – all the information is available at their fingertips.’
Year 3 and 4 teacher Judith Revie agrees:
‘Tigtag covers the whole curriculum. I’ve checked. I went through it and it covers everything I teach.’
In addition to Tigtag and Twig, Davenies have found an array of innovative ways to incorporate their iPads. Speaking assignments utilise the camera function as students dress up as historical figures, a project on the Blitz includes soundbites of air raid sirens and high-res imagery when before it was cut and paste, and maths lessons feature an interactive quiz where students cheer when they get the right answer.
One 13-year-old pupil has even taken the initiative to code his own app. School Hub is used by Davenies to set and mark homework, and has inspired other students to create projects out of school hours. Elizabeth Gibson, Head of I.T. says the switch to Apple was a natural progression:
‘the boys already had them at home. Parents and staff were using an iPhone or iPod, so it made sense to use something that was easy and familiar.’