What affordable solutions can schools take to equip all students with a digital device for learning?
If we want our young people to grow up strong, smart and powered for learning, we should consider how we equip them with the hardware tools to be able to achieve this…
Despite the pandemic and the ‘levelling up’ agenda, 9 per cent of UK households are still not digitally connected with almost 4 million children living in poverty. On the frontline, our education system meets these challenges head-on, particularly our teachers.
Deploying devices to pupils…
One story we will all be familiar with is how our schools responded at the beginning of the pandemic, delivering food parcels and sourcing laptops to enable our young people to be fed, as well as continue to learn. As we emerge through the pandemic, with vaccinations and a renewed focus on supporting our young people and their mental health, there are still some clever technological solutions our schools can make to help all our pupils have access to a device.
I’m reminded of some of the technical decisions I’ve made as a school leader, deploying devices to teachers as well as pupils across various secondary school year groups. Some of the technology failed, other hardware was a hindrance, as well some edtech software that really transformed teacher workload and made a big difference to pupils.
Laptops and devices – deployed to suit the teaching and learning – for individual pupils really did make a difference. Pupils with special educational needs, whether devices were used for additional time for exams, for general access to learning in lessons or a device to take home to continue to work and meet deadlines, affordable devices can really support a pupil’s success at school.
Today, some secondary schools ask pupils to arrive in year 7 with a laptop as part of their uniform and equipment policy. I am reminded of this as my own son approaches secondary school entry – a decision I will have to face. Whilst this policy may not be common practice, and in some respects widens the digital divide, there are some affordable decisions all schools should take to ensure that all pupils have access, regardless of background.
Specifically for education and with students
I’ve been lucky enough to review the new ASUS BR1100 laptop, design specifically for education and with students in mind. Not only is the device sleek and safer to hold, but it is splash resistant, tamper-resistant and robust against all those hard knocks and scratches that could potentially happen in any classroom.
‘Underneath the hood’, there’s a clever piece of technology that or even make your IT support team raise a smile! AI-powered noise-cancelling technology for high-quality remote learning and conferencing; battery life that exceeds a full day of learning, an Intel processor, and my particular favourite, a screen that has a 360 rotate feature for ‘tablet mode.’
One point worth making is that the ASUS device would be better suited to Microsoft schools (Windows 11 Pro) rather than Google based organisations, although not exclusively. There’s a huge range of technical options and benefits.
Smart, robust and affordable solutions for all schools will ensure all of our pupils are equipped for powerful learning opporunities, at home and at school or college…
This is a promotion.