As a test pilot, a portion of the total population of Nanyang Girls High School in Singapore will use 150 iPads that the school has purchased at a cost of around US$100,000, the pilot including 140 students and 10 teachers aims to complement the schools more traditional teaching methods and textbooks.
The iPad will enable the students to connect to the internet with its vast array of educational resources, download books and course material while also allowing note taking or word processing. Chloe Chen, one of the lucky students to be a part of the pilot program said “It’s much more convenient, teachers can just tell us to go to a website, and we can immediately go and do our work.”
The school’s dean of curriculum reveals that the iPad was chosen because it complemented the school’s embrace of modern teaching methods that give the students more freedom to learn themselves rather than a complete reliance on the teacher. She notes that “It’s not so much about the iPad” but rather what the device enables and that if “some other better device comes along, the school could switch”.
As a school with students as young as 12 there are also protections being put in place to prevent misuse of the device, including that “the girls don’t get addicted to the device and use it too much” as another teacher at the school, Mark Shone adds.
Three other Singaporean high schools are also introducing the pilot program, including Tampines Secondary School, Nanhua Primary School and Dunman Secondary School. This latest trial shows a growing trend of the iPad entering the educational system through trials including that at Melbourne University and in the New York Public School system which earlier this month revealed a 2000 iPad trial.