How technology is helping students at Rendcomb College
Technology provides children and young people with invaluable tools and aids to support traditional methods of learning.
By offering a broad spectrum of these options – including the latest software to support education – Rendcomb College can engage young people who ‘learn differently’ too, or who feel comfortable interacting with devices.
It’s important to state from the outset that technology is not replacing the warmth, responsiveness or enjoyment that our high calibre teaching staff bring to the classroom. Reaching the minds and hearts of our students will always hinge on freely available time and patience.
However, there are important advantages to bringing the latest education technology into this leading independent school.
The reality of the digital age
Rendcomb College invests in technology because – as detailed below - access to the right devices and software can improve learning opportunities for a diverse range of our students.
However, just as importantly, using technology in the classroom prepares our students for the world they will live and work in. The digital age is now an everyday reality, and smart technology is increasingly impacting on workplaces, but also lifestyles, travel and entertainment.
Our students will graduate from our private boarding and day school with a rich experience of technology’s potential.
Giving Rendcomb College students technological confidence and understanding instils important self-management abilities too. Our graduates understand how to use devices and software in constructive ways – without losing sight of what’s going on in the ‘real world’.
Let’s look at some examples of how we mould technology around enhanced learning.
Can students bring their own devices to boarding school?
Assistive technology is carefully monitored and utilised by Rendcomb College staff, to ensure it is always 100% appropriate and secure.
However, within this, we do operate a policy of ‘bring your own device’. This provides a comfort factor for our students but also gives us opportunities to demonstrate the responsible attitudes that they will carry with them for life.
How iPads and linked software supports learning
Though the school does not specifically endorse any brand of technology, we have introduced iPads into classrooms, where they can serve valuable purposes.
This is partly due to the extensive battery life and versatility of iPad Airs, which are also highly portable and easy to operate. The voice-to-text capabilities can also be advantageous.
Rendcomb College believes the iPad Air is an excellent option for students with special educational requirements. For example, some iOS apps are outstanding in their support of Dyslexic and Autistic learners.
Also, using a combination of the Reading Pen and Prizmo Go, some students can use headphones to access audio versions of the educational text.
We have also found Notability (the leading note-taking app) is handy for our students, who use it to manipulate text and images, adding notes and editing their data with ease thanks to our Logitech or Apple pencils. Notability also offers Dyslexic learners the option to change background colour to support clarity, and squared screens can support Maths studies.
Other IOS programmes useful for learning include XMind Zen or Popplet. These are simple mind-mapping software tools to help with revision.
Students preparing presentations have found access to Prezi and Keynote adds to the quality and diversity of their content.
Other software used for learning enhancement
Rendcomb College’s investment in the best technology solutions for students also includes some Microsoft features and programmes, of course.
This includes shared learning platforms such as OneNote or Page. Students have secure digital areas to collaborate and communicate, but also individual storage for their lesson notes and media files.
Some of the software solutions Rendcomb College offers to students are aimed at promoting self-study and making core subjects as interesting and interactive as possible. For instance, programmes such as Hegarty Maths encourage students to explore numeracy on their devices.
SENECA Learning provides students with a way to develop a better understanding of subject terminology and principles.
E-books from Kerboodle are used within the Maths department, with pages exported into Notability for ease of access and clarity.
Investing in your child’s future
The college is continuously developing and growing its technology-based options to support individual learning in the classroom, private study for homework and general interest.
It’s worth reiterating that technology will never replace the traditional values and methodology that Rendcomb College uses, and which have always underpinned an excellent education and life experience.
However, we are always open to new ideas and developments which expand learning opportunities and equip our students with technological confidence and self-management abilities.