The University of Plymouth is working to boost children’s computing education across the South West through a new donation.
The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics has decommissioned 35 iPad Minis that had been used by students and presented them to the national organisation, Computing At School (CAS).
They, in turn, have shared the devices between Caen Community Primary School in Braunton, North Devon, and the Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno, Cornwall.
Both organisations plan to use the devices to support young people’s learning, through teaching in the classroom and a range of outreach activities.
The iPad Minis were purchased by the School to be used by undergraduate students across its programmes. However, the software supporting them is no longer being upgraded.
Professor Steven Furnell, Associate Dean for International and Postgraduate at the University, said:
“Since we started enabling our students to use the iPads in 2013, they have made a real difference to their learning. I am now delighted to be able to extend those opportunities outside the University through our ongoing involvement with Computing At School.”Dr Shirley Atkinson, Lecturer in Information Systems at the University and Regional Coordinator for CAS South West, added:
“It is fantastic to be able to use these devices to continue to inspire young people’s education and the wider community. It is essential that we help teachers do an excellent job in the classroom and making sure children have an outstanding computer education will be essential for their future prospects.”
Caen Community Primary School already use iPads in some lessons, but plan to use this donation to introduce elements of virtual reality and greater support for children with dyslexia. Teacher Bill Harvey said:
“This is fantastic news and will offer a much-needed increased availability of IT across the school. Having this many additional iPads means that two of our KS1 classes can use them consecutively (if working in pairs for coding etc.) with enough iPads for one each when carrying out individual work or assessments.”
The Telegraph Museum uses computer devices as part of its regular science club and during school outreach activities, with children coming from West Cornwall and further afield. Learning facilitator Paul Tyreman said:
“These iPads will have an immediate impact on the range of activities we can include in our workshops. They will extend what we can offer at the museum, but also enable us to keep in touch with people's follow-up work back at school after their visits.”