|Partners in Learning - Lewisham|
|Written by Graham Brown-Martin on Wednesday, 28 May 2008|
I was recently invited to attend the final workshop of some impressive work conducted in my home borough of Lewisham that was part of the Black Pupils Achievement Programme (BPAP). Since last November mobile technology was introduced into the scheme to explore family learning and access.
BPAP is a scheme that was introduced in October 2005 by Andrew Adonis, the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Schools and Learners, aimed to increase success among Black pupils through a tailored leadership and management strategy intended to boost effective teaching and learning, tackle poor behaviour and bullying, introduce mentoring and increase involvement of parents.
The Lewisham BPAP has been regarded as one of the most innovative local responses to this national strategy where 160 pupils from 10 schools in the authority have been tracked through the past 3 years in secondary education leading to their GCSE's. In most schools pupils are attaining above their school and local authority average for all pupils
A strand of the Lewisham programme, Partners in Learning, was launched in November 2007. At the centre of this strand are the families and communities that surround the young person and the key element is the “learning triangle” of the family, dedicated teacher and learner. Technology was deployed in the form of Samsung Q1 Ultra devices with RedHalo software to explore the potential for using handheld technologies in family learning with a firm outcome in mind; to raise attainment at GCSE.
Jan Shapiro, Project Leader, explains:
Paula Edmondson of PME Education Enterprises was engaged to support the introduction and management of the technology into the programme. I asked her about what benefits the use of mobile technology had in the project, the outcomes and how sustainable she believed it to be:
At the workshop a number of pupils, some accompanied with members of their family, were invited to present their work and achievements generated during the project using their Q1’s and software. I must confess to being impressed by how clearly the learning bonds between family members had been established where families were making joint presentations to the workshop audience and clearly enjoying themselves!
I discussed the project with a student and her mother and it was clear that the overall programme had made a difference to the student’s life, their attitude to learning and their future attainment. Her mother was also highly positive about the integration of technology within the family unit including the use of “brain training” games found on entertainment consoles. Her belief was that this was an unstoppable force:
At the end of the workshop there was a small prize giving for those who had participated in the workshop with prizes that included digital cameras and family passes to this years Handheld Learning Conference but the biggest surprise of all came when Tom Cooper, Lewisham’s School Improvement Officer, made the announcement that every student could keep their Q1’s!
In describing the success of the project Tom also outlined Lewisham plan to provide every pupil in the authority with a handheld device:
With that, the day came to a conclusion with students ecstatic at the news that they wouldn’t need to hand their handheld computers back. Myself as a parent of children who attend school in the borough I felt that this was a fantastic and important statement of Lewisham’s intent that I was very pleased to witness.
My thanks again go to the organisers for inviting Handheld Learning to participate in this exciting project.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 18 July 2008 )|
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