Surface Launch

From Buses to Tablets – IT moves with the times

As the Network Manager for Luckley House School, Mr Ben Clarke enjoys nothing more than seeing technology being used in the classroom by teachers and pupils and has found our latest IT project particularly exciting.

Mr Clarke says:
“When I was at school in the 1990s there was one computer based in the Maths department and a suite of PCs, although not enough for all of the pupils in a class to use at the same time. Back then there would have been a BBC Micro, with the Music department just starting to use the Atari ST for music composition. It was all very exciting, but not everyone was lucky enough to use the computers.
Former Luckley pupils have also told us about their IT lessons in the 1990s. They took place in a very old single story bus full of very large and clunky BBC computers!

It is very different in the modern school where computers are typically based in suites. Teachers book a free computer suite, taking their whole class to utilise the computers for their lessons. Luckley House School has enjoyed two suites of computers and several smaller suites around the school, as well as laptop trollies to move to classrooms. This is how we have taught ICT for many years.

Time and technology have moved on and our new IT Strategy at Luckley means that every teacher and pupil has the use of a Microsoft Surface 3 tablet to keep during their time at the school. This enables them to work in any place at any time. No one needs to relocate a lesson to use the computer, which saves valuable teaching time.

Luckley House School is now an ‘Office 365 school’ and we are utilising the benefits that Microsoft offers to schools using Office 365 for Education. This means that we can utilise OneNote, a virtual ring binder. Teachers are able to setup Class Notebooks to issue work and enable collaboration in the classroom. Office 365 is a powerful tool to bring all of this together. The Microsoft Surface 3 tablet that we have issued integrates completely with Office 365 and it can be used with the Surface pen to write directly on the screen. Pupils are able to hand write notes into their OneNote workbooks.

Throughout this term we will be offering lots of training sessions to ensure that the whole school community can fully utilise the tools that they have at their fingertips. We have also set up a Digital Ambassadors group of pupils who are running lunchtime ‘drop-in clinics’ to help fellow pupils, as well as teaching staff. The ambassadors were given their Surface tablets at the end of last term so have had the summer holidays to explore and get up to speed.”

Ross, Year 13 students says:
“I was very nervous to use the Surface tablet to begin with, but having the summer holidays gave me time to learn to use it and I am now really excited about how it is going to be used within lessons and with my studies at home.”

Isobel, Year 9 says:
“I am very proud to have been selected as a Digital Ambassador and it is nice to know that I can help other people.”