The fundamental benefits to providing every child at Brixham College with a Chromebook are inextricably linked to raising academic standards and levelling the playing field for students from all backgrounds and abilities. During the course of the past 12 months as we have experienced various degrees of lockdown, the key importance of students having access to chromebooks has been magnified. Looking through this lens of school improvement and student’s progress and attainment, it became clear that those with chromebooks during this time were able to access the work without any significant issues – thus allowing us to be able to provide a continuation of teaching and learning to a high level.
Intrinsically, being able to distribute identical devices to all students enables us to provide holistic support to any student remotely. With the correct level of teaching and guidance initially, they will allow students and teachers to engage in open dialogue about the learning using the platforms that we have become so used to using over the course of the last 12 months. The security level of a chromebook means that we are able to monitor all traffic between both teachers and students, thus providing everyone a safe and secure environment in which to explore their ideas. This will bring peace of mind to staff, students and parents, knowing that our students here at Brixham College are being taught from day one to use online tools effectively and in a positive way.
In terms of the acceleration of progress and attainment, chromebooks offer us and students the opportunity to be able to work in different ways. The use of digital devices both in and out of the classroom are not a substitute for good teaching, but rather a tool that can be harnessed with great effect in order to improve student output. First class face to face teaching, backed up with a holistic “wrap around” of technology in order to guide and shape the learning, understanding and knowledge retention of all students. Students who actively seek out learning in our subjects and arrive in school every day with questions that they have come up with through this research.
The shift towards embracing digital learning requires a great deal of planning and development but as we move further into the 21st century and with the Covid-19 pandemic magnifying the need for students to engage in learning in more sophisticated ways, we would be doing our students a dis service by not providing them with the devices required to achieve this.
Ultimately, what we strive for on a daily basis is to create our classrooms in to spaces of learning, discussion, knowledge acquisition and information exchange. We challenge students to think differently, to challenge preconceived ideas and to explore their own though processes. Providing all students with the technology to be able to do this, within a safe and nurturing environment will ultimately lead to us improving the understanding of all students within our subject areas.