The Tablets in Schools (TIS) Pilot Project has been lauded by teachers, students and software developers for giving thousands of students a greater opportunity to better their lives through education.
The tablets are being used to make lesson planning easier for teachers, to help parents to monitor their children’s performance, and to assist in improving school administration.
One educational software package on the tablets that is making an impact is the digital learning platform EZLearner. Students and teachers of three Corporate Area primary schools were recognised for their effective and innovative use of the platform, at the EZLearner Competition Awards Ceremony in Kingston on June 23.
EZLearner is one of many educational software programmes installed on the tablets distributed under the TIS project, being implemented by e-Learning Jamaica Company Ltd.
Some 25,000 tablets were distributed to students and teachers in 38 educational institutions under the TIS Project this academic year. The Pilot Project will continue in September with one school being added, making 39 schools in the project.
Troy Weekes, founder of EZLearner encouraged students to use their tablets for their educational development.
“Use the devices properly and safely, and share them with your family and friends. Use these devices to bring better outcomes to your lives, to archive our history and for learning. The TIS was created to improve your education”, Mr. Weekes stated at the function at the New Kingston Conference Centre on June 23.
He said the competition was developed to encourage the creative and innovative use of the EZLearner platform among the schools.
Mr. Weekes explained that EZLeaner is is made up of four applications, namely:
• Composer – writing tools focusing on composition
• Comprend – used to develop critical thinking skills based on what students create in Composer
• Storyville – a digital story-telling application
• Compute – a application for solving mathematical problems
The features of EZLearner include:
• Helping teachers with lesson planning
• Automatic generation of school reports
• Helping parents to monitor students’ progress from home computers or smartphones
• A rubric to assess and monitor student performance
• Testing exercises under different conditions and modalities
• Individual or group use and sharing of ideas
• Use in full classroom setting with projector
The developer urged the teachers and students to look out for new features in an improved EZLearner 2.0 in the new school year, which he promised will be “really, really cool.”
Recipients of awards at the function included:
• Phoenix Award to the Top School that overcame odds to ensure their students success – Clan Carthy Primary
• Top Teacher – Mr. Andre McPherson, Clan Carthy Primary
• Top Student – Eve Siburn, Chetolah Park Primary
• Helping Hand Award (to a teacher who used social media to promote EZLearner resources)
– Ms. Martesha Laidley – Chetolah Park Primary
• Innovator Award (to a teacher who used technology creatively in the classroom) Mr. Andre McPherson
• Natasha Miles, John Mills Primary and Junior High.
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