Laptop computer for every student: little school’s big vision

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Twenty-first century here we come: Kentlyn Public School principal Androula Kavallaris with teacher Steve Saunders and Year 6 student Jo Corbet and Year 4 colleague Jayden Gerrard checking out the XO laptop everyone will get next year.

Schools may be winding down at the end of another academic year, but the excitement level is still bubbling away at Kentlyn Public School.

And for a very good reason: it is going digital in 2015.

The plan is for every single one of its students to have a laptop computer on their desks in the new academic year.

“Our school is joining the twenty first century,’’ says Androula Kavallaris, principal of Kentlyn Public.

“We will continue to teach our children the basics like grammar.

“Giving every student a laptop computer means a comprehensive approach to twenty-first century learning skills such as critical thinking, collaborating, creating and communicating,’’ Ms Kavallaris said.

“We’d like to think of the laptop computers as an extension of their pencil cases.’’

To fully implement the laptop project, the school has turned to the community, asking them to dig deep to contribute to a very important cause – the education of our children.

Residents in the school’s catchment area in Kentlyn, Minto and Ruse last week received flyers urging them to help via donations.

The aim is to raise $10,000.

“It’s not just a matter of buying laptop computers,’’ Ms Kavallaris said.

“You need to spend money to install things like wi-fi and server system.’’

Ms Kavallaris said the mother of one of the students, Jayden Gerrard, a year 4 student at Kentlyn Public, had volunteered to deliver the flyers.

Jayden and Year 6 student Jo Corbet also helped to drop the hundreds of flyers into residents’ letterboxes.

Jo won’t be there next year to use the laptops as she is going to high school, but is glad she played a role in such an important innovation.

“The computers will help the students because they make it easier to learn,’’ Jo said.

“You can check spelling, or use the calculator, it’s good.’’

Jayden, who has a PC at home, agreed, saying:  Having a computer will save a lot of time to do other tasks.’’

The teacher tasked with the digital project, Steve Saunders, said the implementation, which included training the students to use the XO laptops, was going well.

Mr Saunders, who has been at Kentlyn since 2012, said some extra training was being provided to a small number of students who did not have access to computers at home.

“There was also extra training for the kindy kids,’’ he said.

Kentlyn Public School promotes itself as “a small school with a big school vision’’ and giving every single student a laptop computer certainly proves that.

“The community, including our P&C, have been very supportive so far, so we hope they will help us to raise the money we need for this important project,’’ Ms Kavallaris says.

Donations can be directed to the school. Enquiries:








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