Nearly 50,000 primary and secondary school pupils in Glasgow are set to receive free iPads as part of the “biggest Apple education initiative in Europe”.
The £300 million IT project between Glasgow City Council and CGI will benefit 70,000 children and young people in schools and nurseries throughout the city.
The rollout includes 47,100 student iPads as well as an additional 4,900 devices for teachers. The project hopes to free up time for teachers and boost their control of the learning process.
Pupils from P6 through to S6 will be given their own device to keep while iPads will be made available for children in nurseries and pupils ranging between P1 to P5. By 2021 the council hopes to give every Glasgow primary and secondary teacher – and their pupils – access to the equipment, which includes a core suite of best-in-class education apps.
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Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for education, skills and early years, hailed the project as an “amazing opportunity” to digital enhance learning for children and young people.
“This is a really exciting time for our schools and an amazing opportunity to digitally enhance the learning and teaching opportunities in our classrooms,” he said. “We want our children and young people to be equipped with the skills that will make them shine as digital citizens both now and later in their working lives.”
Positive feedback has already been received, Cunningham noted, with teachers embracing the opportunity to expand shared learning across the city.
So far, teachers at eight school learning communities have benefitted from the project, with the first pupils at St Thomas Aquinas Secondary using the devices before the summer break. Now that schools are back for the academic year, the rollout across all year groups will begin.
A planned rollout schedule across all the remaining 29 Glasgow learning communities will “begin in earnest” the council said.
The project with CGI will also see “stronger networks” established in schools, with pupils and teachers benefitting from faster broadband speeds as well as a home wireless network TV and WiFi in every classroom.
Justene Ewing, vice president consulting services at CGI, said the initiative will help free up teachers and “boost their control of the learning process”.
“CGI is passionate about placing youngsters at the heart of education and raising levels of attainment and learning outcomes, as well as supporting equality and inclusion for all,” Ewing said.
“We believe our partnership with Glasgow City Council, which involved the rollout of 52,000 iPads in Glasgow’s schools, will help achieve that goal.”