The amount of time the device will be used will vary from day to day at the discretion of the teacher and depending on the task involved. The amount of use depends on individual student need, as well as the learning activity or project at hand. There is the potential to use the device for all subject areas including specialist subjects such as Science, Health and Music.
However, teachers will decide when and how much the device will be used within any given lesson and per week based upon individual and classroom needs. Parents can be assured that the device will be used as part of a ‘balanced diet’ to maximise their child’s educational outcomes, without compromising the development of other important learning opportunities and skillsets. The device, just as computers and previous technology have been considered a learning tool – one of many tools that students will use and engage with at varying times each day.
The use of technology in lessons is very task-specific. Some tasks lend themselves to the use of the technology, others do not. This means that the iPad or laptop is used when and if required. The iPads and laptops will provide additional support for student learning, and therefore students will be supervised, as they would be for any learning activity. The issues of screen time is also apparent for us as educators and it will be more common for students to engage in short, sharp bursts with their devices, than long blocks of continuous time.
With Federal Government programs going online, such as NAPLAN online, and the SACE board changing to digital exams, student use of iPads and laptops during these periods will be mandated by Government requirements. While details are not known yet, we do know that these tests occur in a minimum of 45 minute blocks currently and therefore it is reasonable to assume the Government may keep the current timing format. As Federal and State Governments finalise details, these will be forwarded to parents and guardians for their information.