What is Expected From the Tablets in School Initiative

Administrator on October 16, 2014, 3:28 am 874 3
What is Expected From the Tablets in School Initiative

Thirty eight (38) schools from across the island have been chosen to receive 25,000 tablets as part of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining programme of expanding the use of technology in schools. Schools that would benefit include early childhood, primary and secondary institutions and distribution of the tablets began in September 2014. This tablets in school initiative is in its pilot stage and it is expected that these pilot schools will show marked improvements in their educational outcomes as a result of their use of these devices. Supervision and implementation are being provided by the e-learning Jamaica Company Limited and progress will be monitored as well. Content that are preloaded onto the tablets are provided by the Ministry of Education and the Universal Service Fund provides the Internet access required for the tablets to function in the school and communities being served.

Under the tablets in school initiative the devices are delivered directly to the students but parents and teachers are encouraged to monitor the way these devices are being used by the children. Its primary purpose is for learning, not for social media. Tablets are however provided to children who are registered at the beneficiary school but some parents and guardians have not come forward to sign for these devices thereby depriving their children of the opportunity to use them.

High hopes have been placed on this Tablets in School initiative by those implementing and sponsoring this programme. The Tablets in School Programme is expected to strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurship culture among youth, as well as to enable students to adopt a new way of problem-solving through more analytic thinking. With their tablets, students will also experience an enhanced learning capability and an unlimited access to information. Creativity and the ability to think outside the box are also strongly encouraged by this programme and it is expected that the students will be able to fully integrate the use of this technology in their education. Four suppliers have been contracted to provide the devices under this programme which will last for one year in its initial pilot stage.

The designers of this pilot programme also expect that to prevent abuses, quarterly monitoring are to be carried out. This monitoring is expected to involve the collection of baseline data before and during the programme and the measurement of student performance. The results from this pilot are expected to inform how the Tablets in School Programme is to be rolled out in other institutions across the island. Training of teachers in the use and integration of the tablets in their instructional delivery was carried out during July and August 2014 and the general distribution of the tablets to students and teachers of the selected schools started in September 2014. So far more than 1,200 teacher have been trained in the integration of the tablets in the classroom, and students have been quite excited in receiving their tablets. They are being encouraged to make good use of these devices for the purposes for which they were intended - that is learning. The public are also encouraged not to steal the tablets.


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