Saturday, 1 December 2012


BT Service Redesign
BT provide and maintain the computer estate and network across Edinburgh schools and as part of their contract with City of Edinburgh Council they refresh (or upgrade) the entire estate every five years. This 'refresh' is due to begin again in 2012 and will roll out to all establishments over the next two years. This time, BT have worked with the council to redesign their provision to schools, enabling them to provide an enhanced network in terms of bandwidth and wireless capacity. There is also an opportunity for schools to be much more flexible in their choice of hardware. So, rather than only
replacing a desktop with a desktop and a laptop with a laptop, schools will also be able to opt for mobile devices.

With the forthcoming BT Service Redesign in mind, and with great foresight, our Headteacher, Alison Noble,  invested in a class set of iPads in September 2011. Sciennes has always been keen to understand and capitalise upon new opportunities for flexible use of technology in learning and teaching. Nigel Douglas, parent in P6, led an innovative 1:1 pilot of handheld computers at Sciennes in 2007 and our 99 P7s continue to use them in school. We felt ready to take the next step in using mobile devices at school and at home.

Wendy French operated as a pathfinder in P6A and she successfully cascaded the use of our initial class set of iPads to Mrs Watson P6B and Miss Gaffney P6C, Mrs Barker P5C, Miss Phillips P7B, Mr Howie P7C and Science Teacher Mark McKenna
. A great deal was achieved in a short space of time, including innovative use in the curriculum as well as in-depth knowledge about managing the devices. Fiona Barker is an IT graduate, accustomed to embedding technology in her classroom,  made highly effective use of the iPads in the short periods of time she had access to them. The Senior Management Team - Alison Noble, Headteacher, Lucy Gallagher, Depute Headteacher, Carolyn Anstruther, Depute Headteacher and Angela Christie, Business Manager - had been exploring avenues with 1:1 since January 2011 with the eLearning Foundation and City of Edinburgh. We were delighted and privileged to be invited to participate in the, uniquely supported, City of Edinburgh and Scottish Government National 1:1 Pilots which begin on 19th April 2012.

City of Edinburgh 1:1 Pilot Project Partners

Several 1:1 pilot projects were established in 2011-2012 by City of Edinburgh, and Sciennes was most fortunate to have been included. We continue to receive sterling advice from our colleagues in the council's educational advisory service, particularly Dave McKee, ICT Manager DigITal Learning and Teaching and his team of ICT Development Officers: Fiona Hunter, Jenni Robertson, Janet Wallace and Richard Burgess. We are also grateful to Anne Swap Senior Additional Support for Learning ICT Development Officer for her advice. Karen Prophet, Quality Improvement Manager, Len Timson City of Edinburgh ICT Manager, Billy McIntryre Head of Infrastructure and David Wright Neighbourhood Liaison Officer are leading improvements to enhance the provision of technology to support learning across the city and have also graciously lent us their support.

Scottish Government National 1:1 iPad Pilot Partners

We were privileged to be invited to take part in the Scottish Government National 1:1 pilot with seven other schools in Scotland - three primary schools and four secondary schools. Being part of the national pilot offers our staff and pupils additional advice and support from the Scottish Government, the national educational advisory body Education Scotland (formerly Learning and Teaching Scotland, where Wendy French worked as a national Science Development Officer during her secondment from Sciennes), Hull University and Apple Education and Technical advisors, as well as from City of Edinburgh education advisors. Access to Connected Flow's online learning community Basecamp allowed us to share practice and experiences with the other national pilot schools and we set up a WikiSpace which we hoped families would use to establish an online community for Sciennes.

Education Scotland
Formerly 'Learning and Teaching Scotland', Education Scotland is a national educational advisory service. It has established a National 1:1 Pilot project, led by Derek Robertson and in conjunction with the Scottish Government, to harness technology in learning and teaching for pupils, parents and staff.

The University of Hull
Kevin Burden at Hull University led a team of researchers conducting a robust study into the educational impact of personal ownership of a mobile device, now published:

Hull University iPad Evaluation Report 

Kevin Burden
Principal Investigator
Programme Director for Postgraduate Professional Development,
The Centre for Educational Studies,
Faculty of Education,
The University of Hull

Hull University focused on 6 students in each class throughout the project and analysed reflections from all our pupils, staff and parents. Each week, pupils and staff were asked to record their observations and thoughts about their use of the iPad during the pilot. Parents were invited to contribute any comments, ideas and questions through our Google Doc Parent Log and WikiSpace.

Apple Education We worked closely with a highly experienced team from Apple Education, to gain advice on curricular application of the iPads, as well as receiving technical support from XMA.

Connected Flow and Basecamp Online Learning Community
A portal was created using 'Basecamp' to provide an online community and project management tool for the national pilot schools to share their experiences and ideas. The portal connects all of the partner agencies involved in the national pilot project.

Partnership with Parents
Above all other partnerships in this pilot, however, it was parents and carers, who were integral to the success of the pilot. At Sciennes we are always keen to embrace opportunities to work with families,  this project enabled our existing partnerships to be strengthened, to the ultimate benefit of our children. 

We believe that access to a personal mobile device can transform learning and we hope that other children, in Sciennes and beyond, will be afforded increased access to technology as a direct result of the pilot project.

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