The roll out of personal digital devices for every school pupil from P6 to S6 in Scotland’s Capital city, part of our ambitious and inclusive education strategy Edinburgh Learns for Life, is underway.
The programme, being carried out in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council’s strategic technology partner, CGI, will see 27,500 new iPads being issued to pupils/teachers, refreshed iPads for up to 12,000 pupils/teachers and expanding connectivity by providing additional wireless access points in schools.
As well as the personal distribution to pupils, additional iPads will be handed out to P1 to P5 year groups so they can be shared for learning. Staff in early years will be getting 250 new iPads and having 900 iPads migrated.
The roll out for the Empowered Learning programme, which has been funded thanks to a £17.6m investment from the Council’s budget, is due to be completed by the end of this year and also includes a comprehensive programme of professional learning for teachers.
Benefits of the project include: providing equal access to education, personalising learning, improving teacher feedback, preparing students for future working, collaborative on and off-line working and, critically, supporting efforts to raise attainment.
This week, from Monday 24 January, pupils at St Augustine's RC and Gracemount High Schools will be receiving their devices.
Leith Academy is one of the schools where digital devices have already been distributed.
Head teacher Mike Irving said:
The roll out of digital devices to all P6-S6 young people and staff across Edinburgh’s schools is a significant, positive and exciting development for learning. Young people will discover new and innovative ways to engage by using many of the features available through the applications and technology available at their fingertips.
Digital devices are not there to replace teaching and learning, but to enhance it further so youngsters can engage in learning that is relevant, fun and most importantly impactful. Young people know when they are being invested in, and this step from the Council is a significant and sustained investment in the future learning, outcomes and achievements of Edinburgh’s children and young people.
Shlok Godiyal, S3 pupil at Leith Academy, said:
I think having the iPad will give me greater flexibility in how and when I can work on tasks, topics and assignments. There will be times when I need to log onto Teams sessions or complete work at home, the iPad helps me with this ability to work anytime, anywhere.
I also think the iPad will open opportunities in learning by using features such as video recording, use of 3D imaging and it will help me with my independent learning and study as I progress into S4, S5 and S6. As young people today we are used to technology in our lives, so this is a good addition to our learning.
Councillor Ian Perry, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:
It’s great to see the roll out getting underway as the Empowered Learning programme is about both investing in our children and young people and our teachers to maximise the exciting learning opportunities in Scotland’s Capital city.
We’ve committed £17.5m from our budget so pupils from P6 to S6 can have their own devices and have equal access to learning. This programme opens up the opportunity for pupils to learn in new and exciting ways, brings with it a raft of wider benefits including extra support and professional development opportunities for teachers and is expanding wifi to provide fast and reliable internet access in every school.
Councillor Alison Dickie, Education Vice Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:
The roll out meets a key element of our Council business plan which is increasing attainment for everyone and reducing the poverty-related attainment gap. Ensuring pupils have their own device means they have personal access to digital learning whether with their teacher in school or at home.
We want every young person to achieve their fullest potential and the Empowered Learning programme is another tool in the educational toolbox to equip our pupils with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a future that is becoming increasingly digital.
Tara McGeehan, President, CGI in the UK and Australia said:
CGI is delighted to be working in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council to deliver Empowered Learning to pupils and teachers in the capital. Empowered Learning provides a learning environment that’s engaging and inspirational. It directly tackles the attainment gap and recognises the key role of educators in delivering a digital classroom.
Through Empowered Learning, educators can create and tailor lessons to personalise learning, and access new ways of bringing learning to life. Above all, Empowered Learning delivers learning that is rich and rewarding for both pupils and for their parents, as well as providing the highest level of security and safety standards.
The roll out meets a key element of one of the 15 outcomes and actions from the Council’s three year business plan ‘Our Future Council, Our Future City’: ‘increasing attainment for all and reducing the poverty-related attainment gap’.
The 1:1 programme reinforces our commitment to becoming one of the world’s ‘smartest cities’ – in 2020 Edinburgh approved a new digital strategy to push forward its ambitions for becoming a sustainable Smart City.