Arthur Phillip High School sees a drop in suspensions and increase in attendance since introducing Chromebooks
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Editor's Note: Today’s guest author is Geeta Ajetrao, the Head Teacher of Digital Learning at Arthur Phillip High School (APHS). Geeta helped guide the successful adoption of technology at APHS and is currently responsible for implementing the school’s digital policies and overseeing digital curriculum.
At Arthur Phillip High School a public secondary school in Parramatta, Australia, we educate 1,500 students in grades 7-12. They come from 65 different countries, and over 90 percent of them speak a language other than English at home. Recognised for our long-standing commitment to digital education, administrators and teachers at Arthur Phillip wanted to make teaching and learning more fluid by improving and enhancing our ever – expanding digital education structure.
One hundred Chromebooks were purchased for a pilot group of students and teachers to test out Google Apps for Education, and both students and teachers alike were enthusiastic about them. Our teachers said Google Drive “made it easy for them to plan interactive lessons,” which would keep the students engaged for an entire period. In Ancient Egypt history class, students start up their Chromebooks in no time - unlike their old laptops. Students can navigate to the site their teacher created to watch and discuss a YouTube video or annotate a map in Google Maps. Chromebooks have created student-centred lessons, allowing students to move at their own pace as teachers provide them with immediate feedback.
Since we introduced a digital learning environment, suspensions have decreased by 50 percent, and attendance has risen significantly. What I’ve noticed most is that the school has a calmer vibe--more students are engaged and excited about their lessons, rather than being bored or distracted. Chromebooks have changed the way our students think about learning. Most importantly, they know it doesn’t have to stop once they leave the classroom.