New Zealand's Education ICT and IT Support Specialists
Long Bay College teachers use digital tools to revolutionise student learning
HP Elite x2 gives teachers the mobility and freedom to engage students in hands-on, interactive lessons.
Enabling news ways of teaching
Outdated hardware was hindering Long Bay College’s vision to enrich and advance student learning through the use of digital tools. The school wanted to provide wireless technology devices to teachers so that they could better interact with students, both in and out of the classroom, in order to deliver more integrated and personalised lessons to their classes.
Future-proofing teaching methods.
The digital environment is transforming how education is delivered in schools, creating better access to resources, improved interaction with students and new ways to deliver the curriculum. Long Bay College is a decile 10 co-educational school on Auckland’s North Shore. The school is governed by a commitment to give students the best resources to find and develop their talents, says principal Russell Brooke. “We want our students to be effective, productive and involved learners and for our teaching staff to be able to actively engage with students throughout their lessons. To achieve this, we want to provide a classroom environment that incorporates digital resources and cutting-edge technologies.”
For Brooke, the challenge lay in ensuring the technology was not a distraction, but was used in a way that enriched and embedded learning, and that still allowed students to write things down.
A mobile and remote teaching hub
With a Bring Your Own Device policy in place where students could bring their own device, the school wanted a teaching tool that could integrate seamlessly across multiple platforms. It also needed to serve as a hub to plan and deliver lessons, communicate with students and access the school network remotely.
“Previously, our teachers were restrained by outdated technology. They often had their backs to students as they wrote on the whiteboard or were stuck at their desks while accessing content or the school network,” comments Brooke. Re-inventing teaching methods
“After just two terms with the new technology we can say confidently it has changed the dynamics of our classrooms significantly. In the past I would’ve thought this kind of technology was a distraction, but it has become an essential part of our pedagogy.”
– Russell Brooke, principal, Long Bay College
The school engaged reseller New Era to provide technology that would give teachers wireless access to the network, projectors and whiteboards, and an inking capability that could be used across multiple subjects like maths, graphic design and science. With extensive knowledge of the local education landscape and leading experience in providing ICT solutions to schools, New Era was able to deliver a range of devices for Long Bay College to trial in the classroom environment. After trialling multiple devices, the HP Elite x2 1012 was determined to be the device that best fit the schools needs and was able to deliver new models of learning across evolving platforms and curriculums.
Brook immediately saw the value they could bring to the classroom. “We were able to roll-out the HP Elite x2 to our teachers within a matter of weeks and after just two terms, we can confidently say this technology has become an essential part of our pedagogy.” The HP Elite x2 has enterprise-grade Corning Gorilla Glass conducive to the heavy-use environment of a classroom, a long battery life, detachable keyboard and a Wacom pen that enables teachers to write freehand on the screen, creating a more interactive and practical teaching tool. Its lightweight design also provides the flexibility for teachers to roam the classroom, use the device via remote control or in a more traditional desk-based scenario. New projectors were also introduced, allowing teachers to wirelessly connect their HP Elite x2 to screens at the front of the classrooms via a Wireless Display (WiDi) adaptor.
Easy to adopt and adapt
To put it simply, the HP Elite x2 has “set us free”, says Brooke. “It’s given our teachers the flexibility they need to carry out their lessons in a far more interesting way that inspires students. “Teachers can adapt their use of the device to suit the specific subject and lesson, whether that is solving a maths problem in real-time using the Wacom pen, navigating a website remotely, playing music or drawing a 3D model. When the students see the teachers using technology in this way it inspires them to be more engaged in the lesson.”
Greater visibility of student progress The ability to work remotely and give immediate virtual feedback has created a more personalised and attentive environment. “An unexpected benefit has been that students can also ask questions virtually. Now students who may have fallen behind because they did not want to put their hand up, now no longer feel isolated.” Brooke says the technology has empowered teachers to take greater control of their students’ learning. Teaching staff are able to drive the digital element of the lesson, rather than reacting to students’ use of technology. For the first time in a long while, Brooke says his teachers have showed a real sense of enthusiasm in adopting and utilising the new technology and the teaching methods it facilitates.