In September the nationwide delivery of the laptops and tablets started in order to equip the 5th and, on a one-off basis, also the 6th forms with digital devices in the school year 2021/22. The project is accompanied by numerous pedagogical measures such as webinars. As the national education agency the OeAD supports the Austrian federal government's “Digital Learning” initiative. The initiative aims to establish the pedagogical and technological conditions for IT-supported teaching and to enable all pupils equal access to digital education.
Matthias Mair, IT custodian and teacher at the BRG and BORG Dornbirn Schoren talks about his experiences:
Digital devices at the junior level – experiences from Vorarlberg
In mid-October 2021 the time had finally come for the BRG & BORG Dornbirn Schoren: The iPads, which we had decided on within the framework of the “Digital Learning” device initiative in January 2021, could be handed out to the first few pupils and used within the framework of the subject “Basic Digital Education”.
As an eEducation.Expert+.school it was clear to us from the beginning that we wanted to give as many pupils as possible the opportunity to get such a device. Therefore we decided to participate in the digital device initiative with all 1st and 2nd years of the junior level. The corona-induced lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 have shown that access to digital devices, including keyboards and large screens, is by no means a matter of course for everyone, even though we live in one of the richest countries in the world.
Although most youngsters today have smartphones with internet access by the age of ten they are often not really familiar with how to use them properly and how to use them sensibly in the context of education. With the help of the iPads learners will now not only learn touch typing and the basics of word processing and spreadsheets but a wide variety of learning apps can also be used and internet safety can be taught anywhere in the school, not just in computer rooms.
The joy of having a tablet, pen and keyboard was enormous and the pupils are looking forward to improving their digital skills and using their devices productively in class soon.
Author: Matthias Mair