Teachers and students will be able to use their tablets more efficiently and effectively in this school year, compared with last school year.
That is the word from Manley Haye, Project Manager of the Tablets in Schools (Pilot) Project, who said programmes and applications have been pre-loaded on to most of the tablets, enabling users to have a more productive experience using them.
“(Students and teachers in) Infant and Primary schools will have the content loaded onto their tablets so they won’t have an issue (with availability of content) this year”, Mr. Haye told e-Learning Jamaica Today.
The Project Manager explained that following the distribution of the devices to 25,000 teachers and students last school year, the decision was taken recall the tablets in July for upgrading and reinstallation of applications. This was to ensure there was an environment with stable internet service for the appropriate apps to be downloaded.
The plan is to redistribute the tablets to students this school year, a process that is currently well underway.
Mr. Haye acknowledged that there were hiccups when the project started, but indicated that there would be a better experience for users this school year.
“We had a very serious challenge (last year) because it requires good quality internet to download apps and that was not available in many schools. So the end of the term (in July) was an opportunity to take the tablets in to a location where we had good internet connectivity, so that we could install the required educational tools”, Mr. Haye explained.
So far 24 out of the 38 institutions in the pilot have received their tablets. All are expected to have their devices by mid-November.
The high schools in the TIS Pilot Project will not have most of their content pre-loaded on their devices, because the number and variety of subject options being pursued by different students would make this a lengthy process. However e-LJam’s implementation and training teams are working hard to equip teachers and system administrators in the schools to manage this exercise. This is a critical activity and e-LJam is depending on support and active involvement of the stakeholders.
“Only subjects which are done across the board are being put onto the tablets for high schools before the tablets are distributed.
The process of downloading the content has to be managed because of the limited connectivity we have. So for example in a school with 2000 students, all 2000 students will not be able to load content onto the tablets at once; this must be carefully scheduled”, Mr. Haye stated.