HowBYOD can educate the tech innovators of the future

Comment by JOHN HASLA LAM, Head of Business Development (Schools), Stone Group

Technology permeates every stage of a child’s day, and with this pattern set to continue for years to come, embracing the advancements in technology is no longer a choice for schools. The students in the classrooms of tomorrow will be our tech innovators of the future, and head teachers must equip schools with the IT infrastructure to handle the growing needs – and expectations – of their

pupils, whilst also ensuring it’s affordable and secure for everyone. We are already seeing great strides in tech innovation within education. 2018 research by Ranstad Education highlights that the schools that have already adopted the latest tech do have higher pupil engagement, as classrooms are beginning to reflect the life that pupils have outside of school. It predicts that lessons will become more creative and project-based, with more interactive content to engage pupils – and much of this can be aided through schemes such as BYOD (bring your own device).

BYOD schemes are found to allow pupils to feel responsible for their own devices, and prepare them for more technologically advanced

workplaces. Lessons will move from being teacher-directed to pupil- driven, as teaching become less about information transfer and more about giving pupils the tools to sift through vast amounts of data to find the knowledge they need. Despite the clear and progressive benefits, these schemes still have points that schools must consider.

For example, welcoming a host of new and different devices into the school can compromise cybersecurity, something that is of utmost importance in a school environment. Everyone from academy trusts to head teachers and schools as a whole must be aware of new problems that arise with the constantly changing digital world, and act accordingly with companies that can organise the installation of safe IT infrastructure.

Educators must enforce a strict policy of what kinds of devices are brought onto school premises, where they are purchased from and at what cost. Insurance must be considered, and all of this must be weighed up against the significant benefits that BYOD can offer both pupils an d their educators. Schools must also ensure that children are no t left out due to financial reasons, by organising allowances for low income families.

We must also focus on delivering tech advancement in the classroom that improves the lives of our teachers, who are often burdened by overcomplicated admin processes. Technology can automate parts of the marking process, help teachers to design tests more easily, and keep better track of pupils’ work. Teachers can also give immediate feedback, important for the fast-paced pupils of the internet age.

tomorrow cannot be

Gone are the days of the dark, stuffy IT suites of the past. Educators must recognise the need for technology to enable learning, the potential for it, and what kinds of products and services can be offered in response t o the growing need. The importanc e of digitally savvy school s overstated. Equipping classrooms for the tech innovators of should be a priority.

Encouraging career

progression forwome n t hrough educat ion

Comment by LESLEY FRANKLIN, Principal of George Heriot’s School


At a recent dinner for former pupils, an older gentleman handed his coat to me before taking his seat at the table. Later, he was mortified to discover that I was actually there to address the dinner as the main speaker.

An amusing faux pas, perhaps, but hardly an isolated case.My husband has grown accustomed to politely directing those addressing him as Principal of George Heriot’s School towards me. Outdated attitudes towards female leaders – be

they conscious or unconscious – are indicative of the barriers that women in leadership face across almost every indust I believe that

gender inequali into leadership

Education Education

Gender stereotypes are instilled in children from a young age and can be damaging for girls and boys, that’s why teaching children about gender equality early is important.

From nursery level at George Heriot’s, teachers discourage gender stereotyping of toys to avoid sending the message that any activity is specifically ‘for girls’ or ‘for boys’.

As our students mature, we discuss issues of gender inequality and engage in discussion with all our students. Creating a dialogue helps

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roles with the goal of contributing to schools can play a significant part in

ty in the workforce.

encouraging women ry.

the eradication o f

students of every gender to recognise the realities of gender bias, so that when they encounter it in the workforce, they are better equipped to overcome and challenge it.

Co-educational schools are the perfect place to educate and to challenge bias.We don’t just want women to recognise, address and educate others about gender inequality – men play a key role too .

Mentoring Mentoring

Mentorship can make a difference to women starting out in leadership roles. Learning from women in senior positions provides leadership behaviours to replicate, and a reference point for success.

In schools, encouraging a cooperative environment gives students the opportunity to mentor others. Setting up a programme where students can support and learn from each other demonstrates that by working collaboratively, they can succeed together.

At George Heriot’s, one of our core values is kindness.We see this value being upheld by our students well after they leave us. Promoting this attitude creates more supportive and understanding students. It’s instilling this attitude that will help when it comes to encouraging caree r progression for all in the workplace .

Representation and celebration Representation and celebration

Women in leadership positions are able to posit about women’s capabilities and potential. I ofte

n hear from parents who ively influence attitudes

are pleased that their children have a female Principal, as they gain first- hand experience of women in leadership and see it as ‘normal.’ We should present students with more examples of female success to reinforce that women are more than capable of achieving incredible things.Welcoming female leaders from a variety of industries to speak at schools can inspire young women.

However, success doesn’t have to be at leadership level to be celebrated. I would encourage schools to exami success. Students should be celebrated for their can be a useful way to challenge gender stereotyping.

achievements – and this ne how they recognise

Although achieving gender equality will not happen overnight, by playing our part as educators, we can make a significant contribution towards achieving this goal .

Apri l 2019 2019

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