Laptop or tablet for every student: Hawker Park Primary School

Associate principal Andrew Etheridge with Amy Stephens (Year4), Ella Buswell (Year 4), Callum Stephens (Year 6) and Louis Buswell (Year 2) . Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d438736
Associate principal Andrew Etheridge with Amy Stephens (Year4), Ella Buswell (Year 4), Callum Stephens (Year 6) and Louis Buswell (Year 2) . Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d438736

PARENTS in Warwick are helping a school give their children a technology-based education they would never have dreamt of at Hawker Park Primary School

Hawker Park Primary School is running a one-to-one device program that sees parents buy every student a laptop or tablet.

Associate principal Ian Etheridge said he and teacher Denise Sanderson co-ordinated the program, and this year all Year 2 and 3 students were using iPads while all Year 4 and 5 children had their own laptops.

“The support from our parents and local community has been critical in the success of the program,” he said.

“Our 1:1 digital learning program is about using technologies effectively across the entire curriculum to provide unprecedented opportunities.

“We aim for all students to be engaged, creative, curious and critical 21st century learners.

“The individual ownership of devices has increased accessibility and improved engagement, personalised learning and enhanced the care given to devices.”

Jane Stephens said she had no hesitation about getting laptops for her children, Callum (11) and Amy (9), which replaced their books and worksheets and allowed them to submit work online.

Mrs Stephens said it was a big change from the world of encyclopaedias she grew up in.

“Everything is current now and easily accessible – my children are definitely doing things that we would never have dreamt of,” she said.

“They have learnt to use things that we use in the workplace (and) they are doing fantastic presentations.

“They seem to enjoy their learning (and) their homework.

“We have been using applications at home that I could see were engaging the kids.

“The school were really good – they reassured us that they wouldn’t be using it for more than an hour or two a day.”

Jo Buswell said her children, Ella (9) and Louis (7), were already exposed to technology at home and were enthusiastic about using their own laptop and iPad, which cost the family more than $2000.

“(Ella) is so interested in the design work; all the effects of page-turning and text fading – you couldn’t do that on a piece of paper,” she said.

Mrs Buswell said her son was interested in music, and used apps to lay sounds from different instruments, over his tunes.

Having grown up learning from chalkboards, she said where she used to have to go to the library to get information, her children could access it at a click of a button.

“There no limitations,’ she said. “The way forward is all the device technology – it gets them ready for high school. When I was at primary school, it was a big jump to high school.”

Mrs Buswell said they would make sure the computer did not take over, and their children would know how to write by hand and still read hard copy books.