Te Waotu leads way with iPads

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TARRANT

A $25,000 in­vest­ment has put Te Waotu School at the fore­front of mod­ern ed­u­ca­tion.

The South Waikato pri­mary school has pur­chased 54 iPads in the past year and is now an ex­am­ple for other schools learn­ing about the im­pact of the slick­look­ing tool.

Prin­ci­pal Bruce Dar­roch said there has been a real buzz about what can be achieved for stu­dent learn­ing.

‘‘The ways iPads are be­ing used in classrooms wouldn’t have even been imag­ined 12 months ago.’’

He said it is the most ex­cit­ing in­no­va­tion in teach­ing since he’s been in­volved.

Te Waotu staff have vis­ited Rich­mond Pri­mary School in Napier, Te Mata School in Hast­ings and Taupo Pri­mary to view ef­fec­tive use of iPads as well as pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment classes.

‘‘ This growth in pro­fes­sional knowl­edge has been across the board and with no ex­cep­tions.’’

The school has kept anec­do­tal records of the im­pact iPads are hav­ing on stu­dents at all lev­els of the school, he said.

‘‘ Th­ese are cross cur­ric­u­lar re­sults as well as sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on stu­dent mo­ti­va­tion.’’

The tech­nol­ogy is now a fea­ture of each class’s lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy pro­grammes.

Mr Dar­roch said they have also im­ple­mented a Bring Your Own De­vice pol­icy.

‘‘The BYOD pol­icy com­bined with our own iPads has brought some classes up to an al­most 1 to 1 ra­tio, ev­ery child in the school has im­me­di­ate ac­cess to an iPad.’’

The school has spent around $2000 up­dat­ing the de­vices with new ap­pli­ca­tions.

He said it has been in­ter­est­ing to be­come a place where other schools are vis­it­ing to gain knowl­edge.

‘‘ We are proud to host other schools and share our jour­ney as this is how we started in the first place.’’

Mr Dar­roch will con­duct a re­view to see if the funds were well-spent.

Pho­tos: SUP­PLIED

To­tally en­grossed: Te Waotu School staff are amazed at the level of en­gage­ment they are get­ting from stu­dents us­ing iPads such as Josh Wi­gram and Sere­ana Martin-King.

Mod­ern learn­ing: James Med­ley is en­gaged with Te Waotu’s new method of teach­ing.

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