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YK Pao School Launches iPad 1 to 1 Program

November, 2013
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YK Pao School recently began an exciting new initiative called “iPad 1 to 1.” All the Year 6 students now have their own individual iPads for completing assignments, browsing educational websites, doing independent research, reading eBooks, and even creating their own short films.

YK Pao School launched its iPad project two years ago, with the goal of bringing technology into the classroom. iPads are also widely used by the Primary Division as well. So far, the response has been nothing short of enthusiastic.

These days, a typical English class would begin with students rushing to get their hands on one of the iPads that have been quietly charging away in their portable hub. The class is soon engrossed in the world of 1940s Britain, their curious fingers flicking through black-and-white pictures and old newsreel footage. Students are visibly enthused by the opportunity for hands-on-research.

ICT coordinator Alanna Yee explains the secret to the success of using iPads in the classroom. The answer is simplicity. The iPad is so child-friendly that even the smallest fingers in YK Pao School soon master the touch-screen. And for older students, the elegance of an app can make even the most abstract subjects accessible. One of Yee’s favorites, ‘Move the Turtle’, initiates students into the mysterious world of computer programming by having them program the path of the turtle across the screen. With a twinkle in her eye, Yee gives away another of the iPad’s secrets: it flies below the boredom radar. Plunged into a virtual classroom that’s way more interactive than a photocopied worksheet, children don’t even realize they’re learning.

But there’s another reason why iPads are the apple of Yee’s eye: they are a linchpin in her growing, and increasingly integrated, Mac-empire. Even more than traditional computers, iPads bring technology right into the classroom, and put the resources of the web at students’ fingertips.

But the iPads are much more than a teaching tool. They’re also an incredibly smart bit of technology –particularly in the hands of students at Pao School. Defying fears that technology is the enemy of imagination, students have been putting their iPads to spectacularly creative effect. Using the iPad as an all-in-one camera, set, and studio, Year 4 students researched, invented and animated a whole new planet, before beaming an advert for it back to earthlings. Upper Primary students in Years 3 to 5 had a chance to send their films to the jury of the Shanghai Student Film Festival, where Pao School students’ talents and efforts have been recognized and their films have won various awards in recent years.

Yee too has Sci-Fi dreams of a paperless world at Pao School. And that may not be so far off, if the pilot scheme putting an iPad into the hands of every pupil is a success at the secondary campus. 

 

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