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Using Tablets for Interactive Learning In Schools across Europe
Start date: Aug 31, 2014, End date: Aug 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Numerous studies have found that the use of tablet devices in school education is beneficial. It has, for example, been found to improve the digital and learning skills of pupils; to improve their attainment and motivation; to facilitate improvements in pedagogy (facilitating learning for different types of learner and for different levels of understanding ; resulting in production of more creative and engaging lessons and in provision of improved feedback to pupils); to improve pupil-teacher relationships; to significantly transform access to and use of technology inside the classroom as well as significantly reducing school costs. Both teachers and pupils cited key features of tablets themselves (as distinct from laptops and PCs) as contributing to key benefits such as engagement and collaboration. These included portabilility (which led to ease and speed of use), the easy-to-use touch interface, and better software (apps). Across Europe and the world, many governments are trialling the use of tablets for the education of pupils in primary and secondary schools. None of the schools involved in this project currently use tablets to any great extent in their teaching and pupils do not have any access to tablets in most of the schools. The aim of this project is to facilitate, explore and assess the use of tablets for teaching and learning in a range of subject areas across our schools. We want to internationalise the education of our young people and to improve their linguistic skills in the process. We will produce a number of work packages which can be used in our schools and world-wide to help teachers and pupils to use tablets for teaching and learning purposes. We also aim to facilitate the production and application of a whole school policy on the use of tablets in education, to evaluate properly the usability and accessibility of tablets and to develop and integrate these new strategies and tablet technologies into the schools' curricula, supporting digital inclusion. The six secondary schools involved in the project are: Dollar Academy, Scotland , an independent, co-educational day and boarding school for pupils from 5-18; IMB Brugges, Belgium, which has pupils from a range of backgrounds; Erasmus-Gymnasium, Germany, which has a focus on language education; IS “Viola-Marchesini”, Italy, has a wide range of technological studies courses and a significant liason with industry and universities; Kaitaan lukio, Finland is an upper secondary school with an extended visual arts oriented programme and Olivier de Serres, at which there is some focus on agricultural education. The main subject areas which will be covered are Modern Languages, Science, English and Music although it is believed that most subjects will be involved in the long term. In the first year of the project teachers will be trained at a meeting in Scotland in the use of tablets for administrative, assessment and teaching purposes. Materials for this workshop will be produced at Dollar Academy. Over the following 6 months pupils and staff at all of the schools will carry out research and collaborate across a range of subject areas to write 50-100 questions about their school/country/culture. These questions will all be used to make an online game in which teams of pupils have to 'cross a map of Europe' by answering correctly a certain number of questions about each country. Pupils will play this game at a meeting in Germany at the end of the first year of the project. Pupils in modern language classes will communicate with each other in real time for the two years of the project. Over the course of the first year teachers at each school will produce at least one work package which focusses on a particular subject area and provides all of the necessary resources and instructions to enable other teachers and pupils to work in the same way. Some of these packages will be demonstrated at the pupil exchange meeting and each school will elect to trial ( in the second year of the project) one or more work packages produced by another partner schools. Further work packages will be developed in 2015/2015 and two meetings will be held at which teachers will liaise, discuss and evaluate progress to date and plan further work. In the final meeting in Scotland, the schools will work together to run a public workshop to which teachers and pupils from local schools are invited at which the outcomes will be demonstrated and trialled by pupils. all materials will be uploaded to a website for public use. It is hoped that the result of this project will be increased knowledge and understanding of how to use tablets for teaching and learning across a range of subject areas along with all of the associated benefits and impacts on pupils, teachers and schools which are listed above. Longer term it is expected that this project will result in increased and more effective use of tablets for educational purposes in schools.
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