Downsend to provide individual laptops to students to step change the world of learning

As fears of further Covid-related restrictions continue, Downsend School is rolling out a new programme to equip all students in Year 3 and above with their own personal laptop for use in school and at home. This will enable students to transition smoothly between classroom and online learning in the event of local lockdowns and it comes after Downsend benefited from a major technology refresh and digital learning programme for their teachers.

“This is a really exciting development for our learning provision”, says Ian Thorpe, Headteacher. “While it means that we will be well prepared for any future lockdowns at Downsend this programme is more about the integration of the most beneficial aspects of digital learning in education now and in the future. It will enable our students to develop their digital skills, preparing them for life beyond school. In addition, it will allow our teachers to use technology in the best way possible to support personalised learning, from providing feedback through to developing peer-to-peer collaboration skills. We’re confident that we are moving towards the classroom of the future.”

Lee Silva, Head of Digital Learning added, “I hope that all pupils are excited to be venturing further into the world of digital learning at Downsend and using technology to help support and improve the learning that is taking place both at school and at home.

Downsend recognises the importance of online safety so the devices come with cutting edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) monitoring software that runs in the background 24 hours a day to filter out any inappropriate content based on the age of the student.  There will also be clear expectations set about how and what the device should be used for, as well as the length of time it should be used every day.

Mr Silva continues, “It’s important to stress that these devices will not be replacing traditional classroom teaching and will not necessarily be used in every lesson. They will simply enhance teaching where relevant and leave us in a very strong position should we have to return to virtual learning in future.”

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