Last updated: 08.01.13

Essa Academy rolls out tablets in e-learning drive

A Bolton school is investing in online learning by supplying 840 pupils and all of its teachers with their own tablet.

The Essa Academy stated that by distributing the devices, it is helping students get to grips with education. Speaking to the BBC, head teacher Showk Badat said technology is not separate to teaching, claiming: "When the book was invented and pens were invented and how they were utilised, that would have been [the] technology of their day. I just see it as a natural evolution of progression."

Pupils are using the tablets to take part in class quizzes, the results of which are then airplayed to their tutor so it is possible to see immediately how each individual is performing. According to teacher at the Essa Academy Jane Taylor: "I've got an instant understanding of how each of the children in my classroom is understanding a concept."

Students at the institution have reported they enjoy receiving direct feedback from their tutors, while they said another positive is not having to carry books around.

In addition, they are able to take the devices away with them, so should they have any pressing questions as they do their homework, they can contact their teachers immediately.

The school is hoping the e-learning initiative will reduce its £80,000 annual photocopying bill to just £15,000 a year, which is something UK businesses may also find appealing. Firms can also download online training software to tablets and deliver it to their employees to cut down on company costs.

One British provider they could turn to is Virtual College, a West Yorkshire-based organisation that offers e-learning which can be accessed on the move, while it also has its own Learning Management System.

Through the institution's collection of online modules and courses, business leaders can train their staff in key areas such as Equality and Diversity in the Workplace, Understanding the Principles of Customer Service and How to Manage Discipline and Grievance.