High-tech classes help Leeds youngsters engage with education

Youngsters at Castleton Primary School, Leeds
Youngsters at Castleton Primary School, Leeds
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Digital technology is giving students and teachers across Leeds lessons in high-tech learning.

Classrooms across the city are being equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to help youngsters engage with their education.

At the click of a button students can watch mini-videos in IT suites during tutorials, tap in computer codes and submit coursework to their school’s very own online platform.

Pupils are being taught how to unleash their creative abilities using digital collages, designing their own websites and using video recorders.

And the exciting range of high-tech equipment is also helping classes become more interactive in a bid to capture the imaginations of children across Leeds.

Youngsters at Castleton Primary School, in New Wortley, use Nintendo DS consoles to help them with their mathematics and students at Carr Manor Community School have access to iPads to help them with their research projects.

Voice activated software is used by students in Roundhay School’s dyslexia and inclusion to help give them a voice in examinations.

Pupils also have access to online textbooks to help them prepare for lessons and use filming equipment to capture their classes on camera.

Roundhay School student Sam Judd, 16, knows only too well the difference technology can make in the classroom.

The teenager, who uses a wheelchair, relies on a special communication aid to help him have a voice in class.

Sam uses special infrared technology and a webcam to allow him to communicate with his peers.

He said: “Technology helps my learning in many different ways.

“The most obvious is my box which is my electronic talker. It has been a God send.”

And Sam has high hopes for technology in the future and added: “I think there will be far more mind control software.

“It has got to be better because it has already improved in the time which I first had it.”

Cherie Moore, assistant headteacher, said the use of digital technology helps to also prepare children for life after school.

She said: “At Roundhay we are committed to ensuring we prepare our students effectively for the whatever path they choose when they leave school and enter the world of work, and its technological developments, which are developing at an increasingly fast-paced rate.

“We focus on social responsibility, educating our students to use technology safely, particularly through our PSHCE and ICT curriculums, as well as embracing technology as a means of improving their teaching and learning experiences within the classroom.

“Our newly established primary campus is in a unique position as it is able to respond to the demands of new technology as it grows, along with its already very young but technologically aware students.

“Technology has allowed us to enhance learning in a range of ways.”

Andrew Laycock, assistant headteacher at Carr Manor Community School, said pupils use a Digital Media curriculum in school to boost their skills.

And youngsters can also take advantage of the technology suites during their time at the school

He added: “When you put a piece of kit in front a child it really does switch them on to something.

“We use technology for coursework and pupils can upload it to a website and receive written feedback from a teacher.

“We have also found that a lot of our devices, such as iPads and laptops, are pretty much booked up all the time.”

ONE DAY WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY

The YEP challenge two youngsters from the Children’s Panel to spend the day without any technology.

Holly Stephens, 11, said: “The experience of not having any electronic devices has been unbearable.

“Usually, I go on my phone all the time especially in the holidays, however, because I had to take this challenge it has been a real struggle as I had to find something different to do all day to keep me occupied.

“I constantly use my phone on a regular basis and I take it with me when I go out.

“My phone is the most used piece of technology I have.

“Well the next day I didn’t actually get my phone until 2pm so I had to cope without any technology for more than 24 hours.

“I honestly don’t know how people that were born in the early 1900’s and Victorian times and further back into ancient history could cope without any form of technology whatsoever because it wasn’t even invented.

“It’s amazing how things have changed in the past 20 years.

“I wonder what the future holds for us?”

Jayden Yeardley added: “I have an Xbox, Wii, a DS, a Kindle and laptop. I use these every day .

“At school we have the whiteboard on all day.

“My profile on the laptop is restricted and it goes off at 7pm. I was not allowed to use technology, me and my dad and my little sister went to the Royal Armouries with some friends.

“The best thing about going without technology is that I got to play board games with my family.

“We played Monopoly, I loved it. Monopoly is my favourite board game ever.

“I missed some of my favourite programs but that did not really matter.

“I would definitely never go without technology again but I will play more board games.”

WHO TO CONTACT OVER ONLINE SAFETY ISSUES

CEOP: Information for children, adults or teachers on staying safe on the internet

www.thinkuknow.co.uk

NSPCC: 0808 800 5000, email help@nspcc.org.uk

www.nspcc.org.uk

West Yorkshire Police on 101

www.westyorkshire.police.uk

Internet Watch Foundation

www.iwf.org.uk

ChildLine on 0800 11 11

www.childline.org.uk

HOW IMPORTANT IS DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN?

This week the YEP is looking at the digital lives of children in Leeds.

We want children, parents, carers and teachers to tell us a little bit more about how they consume technology. Can you go the day without any form of technology?

How much of a role does technology play in your lives?

Do you find your children tell you everything you need to know about how to use the computer?

And what are your top tips for children in Leeds about how to stay safe online?

Tell us your thoughts at www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk.

Email: laura.bowyer@ypn.co.uk

Tweet: @LeedsNews with #cflleeds

Facebook: facebook.com/YEP.newspaper

Leeds Mind chief executive Helen Kemp, Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton and Gordon Johnston, who spoke about his own experiences.

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