Different levels. Different opinions.

A key theme to come out early on in the project was around how the different level courses were using technologies. The higher level groups, the GCSE maths students and the Cert Ed/PGCE students, all had access to their own technologies and having access to college iPads was not a priority for them.

The lower level courses, Entry 1 ESOL & Entry 3 maths had some students who came from more disadvantaged backgrounds who didn’t have their own technologies & were a theme with these groups is that there was a novelty aspect in using the technology in the classroom.

The 16-18 students on the functional skills English course also all had access to some forms of technology and what was interesting from this group was how the level of English was not a predictor for their knowledge and skills in using ICT. For example, a student at E3 English was the most confident student in the class and the tutor saw a very different side to him when the iPads were introduced.

Recommendations:

  • Lower level students tend to be from more disadvantaged backgrounds and  need to have access to and support in using technologies that they don’t have access to outside the classroom.
  • Some students are very technically competent and can be used as technical advisors within the classroom, to support both the tutor and other students.

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