One:One Launch at The Portsmouth Academy
The Thinking Schools Academy Trust has launched its own one:one device offer aimed at ensuring that safe, affordable and state of the art laptops are available to students to use in school and at home.
The Trust began to explore a device offer through piloting 196 HP360s at The Portsmouth Academy in several curriculum areas and evaluating the impact of digital tools on students’ learning, through a research project with ImpactEd. 67% of students agreed or strongly agreed that using the devices helped them to learn.
Macy- Year 7: “I find that I have improved my learning and understanding of work and especially how to work online.”
The Trust believes that through ‘freeing teachers from the front’, those students who need additional time from the teacher will be able to get it. As an organisation driven by the cognitive science of learning, they are also keen to see how the device can help to strengthen children’s memory and make learning last.
The Trust worked through its central technology team to bulk procure 250 devices for the new Year 7 cohort at The Portsmouth Academy and integrate them to the shared network. An enhanced internet filtering solution was put in place to ensure that age inappropriate material was filtered at school, and at home, and concerns were flagged to the school’s safeguarding team.
A marketing campaign was launched with parents via a website to help them to consider why to invest in a school-managed device for their child. The school diverted a significant proportion of its pupil premium grant to proving a subsidy for children entitled to free school meals, or otherwise experiencing hardship. The subsidy enables parents to have a fully managed device for their child for £5 per month spread over 30 months.
Teachers have responded extremely well to the introduction of devices for Year 7 and adjusted the way the curriculum is taught, and home learning is managed, to make sure that parents get the best value for money. Vanessa Pszonak, who helps to train new teachers at the school, said:
“I have been teaching French at the school for 16 years and I really feel that going one:one will enable me to push each of my students beyond what they already know. Although there is no substitute for real life conversation, one:one is a great complement to my classroom practice. My students can improve their language knowledge and develop their cultural awareness even more by watching videos, listening to podcasts, reading articles, and by using memory games that make learning fun.
I have also found that differentiation on one:one is less “obvious”, which is better for some students as they are not publicly given “easier” tasks in front of everyone, and the “I-can’t-do-it-miss” students don’t refuse to complete the more challenging tasks. Now, I can send work to my students and they don’t know it is differentiated.” Vanessa Pszonak, Associate Leader, Early Career Development, TPA