The initiative, which begins in September and runs through to the end of 2022, will see the local government issue 27,000 new iPads to pupils and staff, and 12,000 refreshed iPads for pupils and staff.
Younger pupils will also receive iPads, however the city has yet to provide the exact number of units that will be available.
The 1:1 deployment is being made possible thanks to a £17.6 million ($24 million) grant provided by way of a partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council’s ICT services provider CGI. The initiative will also provide wireless access points and a comprehensive program of professional learning for teachers.
“This is a really exciting project which is going to be a real game-changer for the learning and teaching in our schools,” said councillor Ian Perry, education convener for the City of Edinburgh Council. “Giving pupils their own device has been shown to improve outcomes and result in increased engagement and motivation for our young people. It will create a learning environment which will drive higher levels of creativity also improve teacher and learner collaboration.”
According to the government’s website, key benefits of the Empowered Learning program for young people will include:
- Fair and equal access from P6 to S6, ensuring all pupils have personal access to digital learning with their teacher in school or at home.
- Effective digital workflow to increase engagement, improve teacher feedback and raise attainment.
- A range of innovative accessibility features to improve access to the curriculum for pupils with additional support needs.
- Pupils can work online simultaneously in a class or collaboratively outside the classroom.
- High quality digital applications for productivity and creativity, providing more ways to personalise and choose how they learn.
- Development of learning, thinking and digital literacy skills vital for success in today’s rapidly evolving, technological society.
The rollout meets a key element of one of the 15 outcomes and actions from the Council’s three year business plan “Our Future Council, Our Future City: increasing attainment for all and reducing the poverty-related attainment gap.”
The initiative highlights the increasing adoption of digital devices in education since distance learning needs increased since the global health crisis took hold.
Last August, Apple and T-Mobile announced a collaboration to provide 1 million iPads with high-speed cellular connectivity to students across California, as part of advance planning for distance learning in the next school year.