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Blending technology with education

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Blending technology with education

Smith: technology when used strategically can help students learn effectively.

Smith: technology when used strategically can help students learn effectively.


Derek Smith was in England for holidays when his daughter asked him a question. He told her to Google it, and within seconds she found answers to her questions.

“When I was on Easter break,” he recalled, “I was having a chat with my daughter and DI asked her a question which she didn’t know. She picked up her iPad and asked: ‘sir, the question?’”

Technology plays an important role in a child’s development in this post-millennial era as a greater percentage of a child’s life is more dependent on technology as the days go by. Therefore, when Smith picked up an appointment to become the principal of the Olashore International School, Iloko, Ijesa, Lagos, he knew he had to use his role to redefine learning experience in the school.

According to him, Olashore School is committed to developing a child to his full potential. “We are committed to learning, academic excellence, nurturing each child to his full potential,” he said at a meeting to announce the school’s commitment to using technology to enhance learning. “It is important to us that each child attains his full potential, developing leaders for the dynamic global society in the 21st Century,” he said.

The school’s quest to blend technology with education saw the management travelling to Europe and South Africa to have firsthand experience on how the school can adequately incorporate technology into learning.

The world is changing in terms of how knowledge is acquired as no one is willing to pay for knowledge they can look up on the internet, in the future, Smith observed, saying “it takes seconds to look things up online.

“There are four Cs that are essential skills for the 21st Century. They are: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Students’ ability to analyse, take decision and solve problem is very important in learning.”

Smith further explained that technology when used strategically can help students learn effectively. “For instance, students can use video conference to ask teachers’ questions on their homework or other class work, graphics also aid learning. Critical thinking is one of the areas that Olashore School considers important and we have been pushing it. We go to primary schools where we organise inter-primary school challenge. It is a critical thinking challenge on maths, English and science.”

According to him, one of the areas the school uses technology is to track updates in the school as the school is planning to incorporate the use iPads by both teachers and students. “Mobile devices are the most exciting thing about technology and education. iPad has radically changed what you can do with education. We are going to roll out one mobile device programme. Every one of our teachers and students will have mobile devices that will enhance learning. Every one of our teachers will have an iPad by September 2015, students by September 2016. We want our teachers to be at least a year ahead of the students.”

To enhance the use of mobile devices in the school, the school has improved on its internet connectivity, Smith said, noting “we have increased our bandwith by 10 percent and we will continue to upgrde it year-on-year. We have chosen to use iPads because of its ability to manage what children can do on it. There is Extensive Mobile Device Management on it, which allows us to completely control what every child does with their iPads.”

On his part, chairman of the school, Abimbola Olashore, said the school was stepping up its game in the use of technology because it wants to produce students that could compete globally.

“Technology is going to change the way we do things,” he said, as “we have travelled all over the world to ensure we put technology to good use in learning. Our aim is to ensure that we use technology to make learning easier.”



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