The Essa Academy has given every student and teacher their own iPad

UK schools cut costs by replacing pens and paper with iPads

A school in Bolton says giving all of its 840 students and teachers their own iPad will be both beneficial to its pupils and cost effective.

The introduction of the iPads will slash the Essa Academy’s photocopying bill from £80,000 a year to £15,000.

This new approach intends to enable teachers to gain a greater grasp of their pupil’s understanding of a given subject. For instance, when conducting a class test, teachers can view their pupils’ individual answers in real time, allowing them to address areas in need of attention immediately.

Showk Badat, head teacher at Essa Acadamy, believes that the new approach is the beginning of the next step in the evolution of education. “When the book was invented and pens were invented, the way they were utilised would have been seen as the technology of their day,” he said. “I just see it as a natural evolutionary progression.”

One worry is the easy access to apps, games and the internet, all possible distractions from concentrating on school work. “We’ve got to show them how to make the right decision,” said Badat. “That is our primary aim. We also have proper safeguards, so our Internet is properly filtered.”

Another concern with tablets being favoured in schools over pen and paper is that these children could be the generation that sees handwriting rendered entirely obsolete.

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