THE students of Abraham’s Bay High School in Mayaguana are a lot closer to the world as a result of a generous donation of 37 iPads, two wireless routers and a laptop from the Mayaguana Development Group.
Each of the thirty students enrolled at the school received a personal iPad to use in the classroom and assist with their academic studies. The company’s representative, John Moses, presented the items to Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald on a recent visit to Mayaguana.
Fitzgerald thanked Mr Moses and his company for their generosity and assured him that the iPads will be used to enhance the instruction the students obtain from their teachers. The minister said it was important for everyone in the Bahamas to get involved in the education of our students.
He said that he is particularly pleased that students at the Abraham’s Bay High School will have this much needed resource just prior to sitting their final and national examinations.
Mr Moses said the donation was coordinated with the school and island residents: “This has been a team effort with the Mayaguana Advisory Board and Council and the school’s leadership to provide Mayaguana’s students with the best technology resources available. “Mobile technology is having an important impact on education and some of the world’s most privileged schools are integrating ‘tablets’ into the classroom. We are pleased to have worked with the community leadership to give local students the same opportunities.”
The iPads are being used to access Khan Academy, a Bill Gates-backed online resource which teaches students about science and mathematics. Another notable feature of the iPads is that all of them be can updated with new software and apps simultaneously and prevent from accessing inappropriate content using a ‘syncing cart.’
The students, with the guidance of their teachers, have been using the technology for the past two months and discussed the impact of the devices on their education.
Jada Charlton, Head Girl at Abraham’s Bay High School said: “The iPads have really made a difference at our school. It is so much easier to access information that can help with the completion of homework and coursework. I am proud that our school was selected because it really made a difference in the educational process.
Head Boy, Cameron Charlton, said: “The use of the iPads really assists us with school work and is certainly taking our school into the technology era. I am able to research word meanings and gather information that is vital to me. It is something that we really appreciate as we prepare for the way forward.”
Susan Miller, maths teacher at the school said that during teaching time, she allows the students to use the iPads.
“If I am teaching a lesson on probability, I would give the students a gist about probability, and then allow them to visit the Khan Academy website where they would watch various mini video presentations on probability. The video lessons would start from basic probability with a thorough explanation of the term and how the formula is derived, after which varying examples are shown. At the end of the video presentations, the students are able to complete activities based on the video presentations they had previously watched. They are also able to check their work to see if they were accurate, if not, a detailed explanation is given in stages for them to see their error(s). This type of teaching and learning activity encourages self-directed learning so that advanced students can push ahead and students needing remedial help can get assistance with foundational concepts,” Ms Miller said
Acting Principal of the School, Brian Williams, said that already he has seen the students’ confidence grow as a result of them have easy access to wider knowledge.
“The ministry started the technology revolution at this school last year with its INSPIRE ICT Project and this expands the effort to close the technology gap in the Bahamas,” Principal Williams said.