Saltus School Launches iPad Programme

May 17, 2012

Students in the Lower Primary Department at Saltus Grammar School are taking learning into their own hands—literally. The school has launched a pilot iPad programme for its youngest students, becoming the first Bermuda school to do so.

“This initiative is in keeping with Saltus’s vision to be at the forefront of technology integration in the classroom—it is about how to improve student learning,” says Headmaster Ted Staunton, noting recent research indicates elementary-age students score better on literacy tests after iPad learning than students not exposed to tablet technology. “We expect to see high levels of student motivation, engagement and learning.”

Starting this week, students aged four to seven, in Foundation Year through S2 at the school’s Lower Primary “Cavendish” Department in Devonshire, will use Apple iPad2s to reinforce the three “Rs”—reading, writing and arithmetic—as well as to learn non-traditional skills such as problem-solving, collaboration and using a variety of multimedia content. The programme aims to revolutionise the way its teachers and students interact in the classroom using the latest technologies.

“I believe we are the first school in Bermuda to bring iPads into the classroom, and we’re proud of that,” says Shelly Sayers, Director of the Lower Primary Department, who, with Saltus’s Director of IT, Trudy Bucher, has spent the past 15 months researching and preparing for the pilot programme’s launch.

“We strive to be a technology-rich school, and laptops, computer labs, SMART Boards, netbooks and wireless access are the norm at Saltus,” she says. “Adding iPads to this equation keeps us on the cutting edge and provides hands-on technology for our youngest students.

“The iPad is a tool that greatly enhances educational technology and allows for easy collaboration among teachers and students. It really seemed like something that could integrate seamlessly into the learning experience for the children.”

Saltus teachers are excited about the potential of a device that’s small, flexible, portable, visual and hands-on, especially when working with younger students. “We felt the iPad was a tool, which, because of its visual and hands-on design, would really be a natural fit for our youngest learners,” says Mrs. Sayers.

“We spent quite a bit of time preparing for this, but we had to get it right,” says Mrs. Bucher. “From installing wireless access points into all classrooms, to finding a local vendor that would provide on-Island support, to researching logistics of how to manage synching and charging, to finding the proper cases.

“From a technological standpoint, the introduction of iPads was a nobrainer, with no boot-up time, long battery life, no malware, free apps, and relatively low maintenance.”

Saltus purchased the iPads from A.F. Smith, an Apple Authorized Reseller in Bermuda. The company’s Apple specialist, Kenneth Pemberton, was on site to provide teachers with professional development during the rollout process. The school will conduct a pilot programme this term to allow teachers to become familiar with iPads. More research will be conducted on curriculum-enhancing apps prior to the next academic year.

“We must applaud Saltus for being pioneers for considering the value of moving to an iPadbased platform,” says Tim Smith, CEO at A.F. Smith. “During the pilot phase, we are confident the feedback will be positive. We have certainly enjoyed working with the Saltus team thus far and look forward to helping them meet their learning objectives.”

Since it was first launched in 2010, the Apple tablet has been incorporated into classrooms across North America and Europe.

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Comments (36)

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  1. Malachi says:

    And I suppose you HAVE to buy the tablet from Saltus, right??

    • Concerned says:

      Have to from berkeley and the laptops they have are more trouble than they are worth. Why not allow the parents to purchase the computers, they download the programs (which are none)- it is more music/facebook/e-mails and so on.

      Saltus is a blessed school in that they have lots of Sponsors and the parents work together.

    • jusayin says:

      they’re not going to each student individually.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      No.

    • Observant says:

      I’ve read through most of your comments and can only come up with one conclusion…you just have an axe to grind with the school itself. From what I saw in the article, the iPads will be used in the classrooms; they will not be bought for each student.

  2. Kathy says:

    This is exactly why my children don’t attend Saltus. Why do our children have ADD, and other “social” disorders? They spend way too much time on computers, play stations, watching tv. By the time they reach high school, they can’t hold a conversation with anyone.

    What happened to our children learning to read, write and do arithmetic perfectly without the aid of such “technology” (with an old fashioned yellow pencil and a piece of paper). You need to compute it in your head before you learn how to rely on the computer to do it for you.

    Children will pick up the technology as they go through life – that is obvious. There is no need to teach them at 4 years old to use an ipad. It is a sign of a wealthy society trying to attract children by selling “technology” as an excuse for selling good teaching!

    What happens when a 4 year old drops the ipad?

    Others might be impressed, I am not!!!

    • TRUTH HURTS! says:

      Maybe you should do some research because most people who are good at using technology such as Ipads are more intelligent than people who don’t and do better. As was stated in the article. Just because they are using ipad’s doesn’t mean they don’t have to actually work out the answer themselves. It’s the future and I’m sure stuff like this was be happening more and more in Bermuda and world-wide. Get with it. The 4 year old don’t need to pick the ipads up, they can sit on their desks.

    • Finally left! says:

      As an IT person, i can only say i WISH people learned technology in school..

      I cant even count the amount of times that CEO’s, executives, Doctors, etc have asked me the most basic questions on how to do things on their ipads, laptops, etc…

      In these years, you HAVE to know technology if you are going to use it. Just “picking it up” does not work except over a long period of time and use.

    • Observant says:

      Kathy, please take note of the children in the background…yeah, the ones with pencils in their hands…
      The iPads are to be used to ENHANCE the learning experience, not replace good old-fashioned education.
      Since the story only got published today…why are you saying that “This is exactly why my children don’t attend Saltus”?

  3. Railway says:

    Have to agree with Kathy. Just another way for our kids to be swallowed up by and lost in technology. They’re being robbed of the social graces by phones, blackberries, ipads and laptops – the schools should be cutting back on technology in an effort to get our kids back into the real world where people actually talk to each other using their voices, not blackberries and the like, where spelling and grammar matter and where people can actually write something by hand – clearly and legibily. Whatever happened to penmanship? Ipads at 4 and 5 years old? Surely these foundation years should be filled with teacher and student interaction instead of apps and re-boots. Think again, Saltus!

    • Finally left! says:

      lol i dont mean to sound obnoxious, but what real world are you living in where people actually talk to each other all the time?

      Text/email/phones are, and have been, a massive part of human communication for ages.. this is nothing new. That real world of people handwriting letters and face to face meetings are decades old as a mainstream way.

      You’d be highly surprised how many educational apps are on ipads… they are simply an extension of the childrens reading books that no one seems to have a problem with.

    • mrwiggin says:

      Railway — how are the 1890′s treating you? Give my regards to Thomas Edison. Maybe you can convince him not to market the lightbulb… those damn kids and their fancy electricity!

  4. RC says:

    @Malachi: The article clearly states that Saltus purchased the iPads.

    @Kathy: You miss the whole point of technology in the classroom. They are not teaching kids how to use iPads – if you’ve ever used an iPad, you’d know that takes about 2 minutes. They are looking to utilize the tablet platform and all of its advantages for their classroom teaching objectives. Just like they use smart boards now. Apple is reaching out to the education market with their products and so there are a lot of efforts creating educational content for use in the classroom.

    • Malachi says:

      @RC: That’s my point – students should be free to purchase the tablet as cheap as they can. I do know that in the past, the price that Saltus was charging for laptops was ridiculous.

      Apart from the resons given by other bloggers, students should have the benefit of the best price available.

      Having said that, it still is an elitist idea!

      • Sandgrownan says:

        Elitist?

        Saltus is buying the devices, not students, so as long as Saltus gets an appropriate price, why do you care?

      • Finally left! says:

        How is giving the best tools for education elitist? Every school should be trying to get the best tools that they can afford…

      • Finally left! says:

        hell… at on point in history, and still in some circles today, just going and getting an education is considered elitist.

        When i worked in a lumber factory during University, i was told by the HR director to NOT mention that i go to university on the side, because i would instantly loose the favor of my colleagues.

      • Observant says:

        “Having said that, it still is an elitist idea!” Possibly one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve seen so far.
        A good education and preparation for university and the real world is elitist? Since when?

  5. Come correct says:

    The 3 R’s…now I’m starting to see the problem. You my friend are the 3 R’s, really really retarded. Before the program kicks off you have all these kids sent away for martial arts training so they protect their investment, because a 4 year old carrying an $800 item isn’t an easy target is it?

    • BERR says:

      The children aren’t taking the iPads home with them, they will be USING them in the classroom. It’s says so in the article. And where are 4 year olds going on there own to be a “target”?

    • Legal Reasons? says:

      not every student has an iPad. i believe there are 2 or 3 at most per class. and they never leave the classroom. the teacher is accountable for them. and they are to be used at most 1 hour per week.

    • Hmmm says:

      Yeah I think I saw a 4 year old the other day with a briefcase and a copy of the wallstreet journal. 4 year olds still get picked up, none of them are travelling anywhere on thier own. Bermudians will find fault with anything just because……really sad…..at least attempt to make the debate intelligent …WOW..

  6. 1DER says:

    I wonder if Angry Birds will become a new subject. the class would be called “Intro to Angry Aves.”

    • Finally left! says:

      lol tell ya what, it’d actually be a good game to have for either science (physics) or math for kids…

      While they may not be learning trajectories and momentum specifically in class, the basic principles of them could be very useful to a young child.

  7. sayin says:

    in reading all of these comments i’m starting to see a disturbing pattern. almost all of the negative comments are made by those who have chosen to read and ingest only bits and pieces of a whole. they also have not chosen to look outside the box as far as educational advances are concerned. as an educator i can tell you that technology, while sometimes an annoyance in the classroom is also an advantage. while i do still strongly believe in the power of being able to write legibly and do arithmetic without the use of a calculator these kids are being prepared for the techonology driven world they are going into. and before you say anything i have worked and been a student of both public and private schools and i don’t really see this as elitist if someone had the idea to enhance their curriculum using technology.

    • jt says:

      Interesting that those being critical of technology the classroom appear to have difficulty reading themselves.

    • mrwiggin says:

      “while i do still strongly believe in the power of being able to write legibly”

      You sure?

  8. BERR says:

    I applaud Saltus for getting this scheme in place, our children are in a high tech world and they want to learn this way. They are amazed and in tune with technology and this is another way to get them excited, interested and eager. It wouldn’t surprise me if tablets replace laptops altogether, they are reliable, intelligent, sleek tools they even have Bluetooth keyboards for them so it is inevitable. I use my iPad to extend learning in maths and languages; the kids think it’s awesome, they are having fun and learning at the same time! The tablet will not replace traditional pen to paper learning that is a ridiculous assumption from persons with a closed “in the box” frame of mind. Bravo Saltus – Kudos to the IT Director and School Heads for bringing this concept into the classrooms.

  9. Daku says:

    To all those that believe that this is not the way to go should do some research. The needs in the 21st Century classroom is so different from the 20th Century classroom. Teachers are becoming facilitators of student learning and have to be creators of productive classroom environments, teaching students to develop the skills they will need in the work place. Technology and media are used for creativity and innovation. Our children need to know:- text literacy, computer literacy, distance learning literacy, cyberlearning literacy, visual literacy, audio literacy, video literacy, and media literacy.

  10. kiskadee says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea. My grandson starts Saltus in September. Every time he visits me he asks to use my IPad.He learns so much from the educational games on it and I prefer that to him watching cartoons on TV. I am a 75 year old Grandma and just got my IPad as a Xmas present two years ago and I love it.I wish they had been around when I was at school!!!

  11. Good idea says:

    Step in the right direction. Well done!

  12. Senior says:

    As a Student of Saltus for the past 13 years I am really proud of the school in making another step forward in the technology-based world we are now living in. The school advertises itself as a technology based school and this integration not only helps in providing different ways of learning but also good life skills for the working world. If you are trying to tell me that you do not use a computer in your daily life, regardless of how you learned your literacy or arithmetic, then I am absolutely amazed! It makes me so angry that some of you honestly believe this programme won’t be suitably regulated. I’ve now read this article over three times and I just don’t see where some of you are getting your ideas. Where does it say there will be no interaction between students and teachers?!? Where does it say that the iPads will be the only source of learning?!? Where does it say that pencils and papers are being removed from the classroom?!? You all are making assumptions and it has become very obvious that your already preconceived negative attitude towards the school has caused you to become delusional about the new, fantastic, innovative programmes that the school is implementing. Your comments can no longer be backed up by legitimate evidence or examples only by your swayed opinion. You’ve made no effort to actually research how this might help/improve the school and the learning of students and just ‘slagged it off’ because it’s Saltus.

    @Kathy: I am trying so hard to be respectful of your comment but ADD is not caused by regulated exposure to technology!! Socialization must first occur in the home and then school. This socialization within the home has a MASSIVE effect on the child’s social skills etc., it is then further developed in school. SALTUS IS NOT DISREGARDING ALL SOCIALIZATION BY INTRODUCING TECHNOLOGY.

    If you are unable to regulate the exposure to technology within your household then the REGULATED exposure is not on the school, it is on YOU as a parent. This is somewhat my response to “Railway”. If your child is being swallowed up and lost in technology, deal with it at home. Saltus is not a stupid school that is going to let your child play ‘Angry Birds’ on the iPad all day long!!!!!!!!

    @Malachi: Elitist? :| SINCE WHEN IS THE BEST EDUCATION ELITIST!?!?!? SINCE WHEN IS PROVIDING STUDENTS WITH FANTASTIC LEARNING TOOLS, ELITIST!?!?!? We are LUCKY. EVERYONE on this island is LUCKY.

    It makes me so mad that the school that is about to hand me my High School Diploma is being knocked down for improving the education of it’s students. Saltus has given me a GREAT education and it saddens me that adults in Bermuda are so quick to judge a school they obviously know nothing about and judge a programme they have spent no time researching.

  13. Always Watching says:

    I also applaud Saltus for their efforts..They will find the I Pad’s a most valuable learning tool. My daughter is in pre-school and I brought one for her about six months ago. She takes it to school and loves all the learning software that i have downloaded on it…I have seen her math and English skills improve dramatically.

    I wish every kid had one…hint hint to our Government (when they get some money)

  14. TheFuture says:

    “noting recent research indicates elementary-age students score better on literacy tests after iPad learning than students not exposed to tablet technology.”

    I am curious as to the source of the dubious quote. An iPad is a BRAND of tablet device, like dozens of other brands in the market. Specific research was done on this BRAND? Somehow I doubt it. The very authors of this piece seem oblivious to theft they are merely promoting a BRAND rather than a technology. Students will be equally oblivious. Companies love it when their names become verbs rather than nouns (google it etc.). There is a great myth that introducing technology for BASICS somehow translates into both advancement with basics and preparing children for a tech rich world. Quite the opposite is true. Children brought up doing Advanced math with an abacus probably designed most of the TABLETS out there including the iPad. (“google” abacus math competition for some amazing videos)

    This is another step in dumbing students down.

  15. TheFuture says:

    That should have said “The very authors of this piece seem oblivious to THE FACT they are merely promoting a BRAND rather than a technology”. (ironically theft was inserted by auto spell check on…my iPad…see if I was a student in school…)

  16. iteach says:

    At the end of the day, students are learning and meeting success and having fun-that is what school should be all about!