Pupils at schools across the Scottish Borders are using some of the latest digital technologies to help them continue studying during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Young people across the region are able to access various learning resources through the Borders council’s Inspire Learning programme, and nearly 6,300 are in possession of iPads and a suite of learning tools.
The programme is a key part of the council’s Digital Learning Strategy, which aims to transform teaching and enhance learning for pupils across the Borders.
The roll-out of the Inspire Learning programme was accelerated to ensure it was completed before the Covid-19 lockdown, with pupils at Jedburgh Grammar receiving their devices on 19th March before schools were forced to close.
This made the council the UK’s first local authority to deliver such a programme to every secondary student and has enabled teachers to deliver lessons remotely.
Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council, said the local authority is delighted that students are still able to continue their studies despite the pandemic.
She said: “Our young people are in a unique position. Through Inspire Learning, every secondary school pupil is in possession of a manage iPad, and a suite of apps and tools to ensure they are learning at home through digital technology in the best way possible.
“Their teachers also have iPads, allowing them to deliver the curriculum from their own homes. It means they can interact directly with young people, especially our more vulnerable learners, give instant feedback and use innovative tools to get the best experience of learning.”
Logan added: “Latest stats show 96% of our young people are successfully engaging with Inspire Learning at home. Teacher usage is at a similar level.”
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Inspire Learning is run in partnership with CGI, alongside Apple and XMA. Last year, pupils at Selkirk High School became the first to use iPads as part of the digital learning scheme, with more than 400 students and 34 teachers gaining access to the devices.
The council revealed that the programme roll-out to primary schools is also ahead of schedule, and in another first, 540 iPads have been delivered to the homes of every primary teacher in the region.
This will enable teachers to familiarise themselves with the devices ahead of every primary six and seven pupils receiving one.
Logan commented: “We continue to break new ground with Inspire Learning and I’m delighted that primary school teachers are now fully on board. Inspire has quickly become embedded at the heart of what learning and teaching looks like in the Borders.”
Scottish Borders Council said it will be looking for more views from parents on how home learning is working for their children through an online survey.