Monday, July 23, 2012

Tablets keep school online

As posted on the Wairarapa Times-Age website, New Zealand, July 23, 2012.

Nathan Crombie

Tablet computers have invaded Eketahuna School.

Deputy principal Kathryn Morgan said the school's cache of laptops had been nearing the end of their useful life and her adult son Cole, an Eketahuna School old boy, had suggested iPads instead.

The school, which has a roll of about 90 pupils, has a wireless network the iPads need for access to the internet and principal Nick Beamsley last term secured 30 iPads for the school, which is double the number of laptops for the same money.

Mrs Morgan said the leasing of the greater number of tablet computers allows each pupil their own machine whenever a class uses a set of the iPads.

Pupils have been using the tablets this term and were quick to adapt, she said, sometimes showing they know more as users than teachers. "We're still at the stage of getting used to the difference, even though the kids at times know more about them than we do."

Also this term, pupils from Te Aute and Hukarere Girls colleges were hosted at the school and gave kapa haka performances and speeches about their daily school lives.

Pupils at Eketahuna also raised more than $400 this term in a fantasy relay race for the international Sleeping Children Around the World charity.

She said the funds were used to buy bedrolls, mosquito nets, clothing and school stationery for deprived children in places like Tanzania and Somalia.