The GESS Student Laptop Programme began during the 2004/05 academic year. Since the program’s inception, the number of laptop users has increased significantly as we added a new grade each year and as we have grown as a school. Teachers are using new strategies to make best use of laptops.
Information and communications technology (ICT) has become an integral part of education, for training and for much of the world of work our students will enter. Many universities are offering online courses or “hybrid” courses, in which instruction combines face-to-face meetings as well as online resources, instruction and collaboration. By developing the skills to utilize ICT effectively and laptops reliably, we hope to ensure that our graduates proceed to higher education with the tools to succeed in such an environment.
Our laptop programme has facilitated several teaching and learning activities. There is more group work happening as students have the tools at hand. Communication and sharing of information is demonstrably increased. Several students have followed their passions and delved into digital video, web site design and other areas. Focusing on their strengths, these students have truly individualised their learning.
Laptop learning requires a measure of independence that we believe, once achieved, will be a strong foundation for lifelong learning. We, as teachers and parents, can help students develop their independent learning skills.