Empowering schools to deliver lessons through technology

Beverly School in Toronto was one of the first schools in Canada to place a focus on electronic learning tools – mostly iPads – in an effort to help special needs students from kindergarten to Grade 8, learn with apps and games that require touch. Stacie Carroll, a teacher at the school, says students with autism respond better to the tablet apps that always speak in a consistent tone and voice, and also have a consistent layout. The use of this simple, revolutionary technology – powered by electricity, of course, has garnered attention from around North America; most notably CBS’s 60 Minutes and CBC News.

The delivery of education through technology, and electricity, is now so great that many of the “dedicated” computer labs that were once so common in schools, may become a thing of the past. Instead, leading educators are now encouraging students to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to every class, integrating technology with everyday lessons.

“It’s not about learning how the technology works, but how the technology can help students learn,” says Colin Harris, a curriculum consultant at York Region District School Board.

That’s a radical shift for many school boards in Canada, which currently ban devices such as cellphones. But Mr. Harris argues that since consumer technology is always ahead of whatever schools can afford, as long as teachers use mobile devices with pedagogy in mind, BYOD can keep students on the cutting edge.