Last updated: 27.02.14

High-tech classes improve engagement for Leeds school

Digital technology is being harnessed at schools across Leeds in order to ensure that students are more switched on in the classroom. 

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the city's classrooms have been fitted with state-of-the-art IT equipment so that children can access online features via school web platforms. 

Special lesson plans are also being utilised to help students learn how to tap into their creative sides - with digital collages, website design and video recording some of the sessions that have a distinctly modern feel about them.

The online suite of tools also includes a range of videos and interactive tutorials that have been designed to ensure that children are more involved in the learning process than if they were more passively listening to a lecture by a teacher - this involvement is something that technology promises and online courses also provide significant flexibility, as children can continue their learning in their own time, outside of the classroom.

This also allows for a more integrated approach between classwork and homework, so it is not surprising that more schools are looking into the deployment of such systems. Virtual College provides online resources to some 2,000 schools and learning organisations.

According to the newspaper, the watchword in Leeds is 'interactivity', as this has been earmarked as the best way to capture the imaginations of the city's children. This also involves making learning more "fun", and to this end, electronic games also have an important role to play, providing lessons to children in a less direct way.

In one school, Nintendo DS consoles and games are being utilised in order to help children conceptualise mathematical problems, while other institutions are deploying iPads to help youngsters develop their research skills. Voice-activated software is also being trialled at one school as a means of helping children who suffer from dyslexia cope better in examination scenarios.

Sixteen-year-old student Sam Judd, who has uses a special communication aid to speak in class, expressed this sentiment the best, stating to the newspaper: "Technology helps my learning in many different ways." The challenge for teachers and schools remains ensuring that these technologies are deployed in a cost-effective way.