JCG’s Digital Learning project yields educational and environmental benefits

Posted: 17/11/2023

A Digital Learning project launched in September 2021 at Jersey College for Girls has improved learning for all students involved as well as reducing paper consumption by 40%.

The project was inspired by how the College turned to technology during the covid lockdown to continue to provide learning to its students. This led to discussions about how technology could be used more efficiently to enhance the teaching and learning experience, bridge gaps in learning and support students absent from lessons.

In September 2021, all Year 7 students were asked to come to College with a digital device – equipped with a camera, track-pad keyboard and digital stylus.

Due to the success of the project with Year 7, it was expanded the following year to include students in Years 10 and 12 and from this September to all students.

Digital learning has become an embedded aspect of the College’s everyday practice. The College has ensured there is a mix of paper and digital based written tasks to ensure students do not lose the skill and muscle strength of writing quickly, neatly and for long periods of time as this is still required for GCSE / A level exams.

Improved organisation, fewer books to carry, easier submission of work and improved typing skills are just some of the benefits the students reported.

Here are some of the comments from students:

“It’s easier and more environmentally friendly to use digital textbooks than paper ones.”

“Instead of noting down what is on the board, it appears on my screen.  I can then use my time to annotate and interrogate the information.  This makes my learning faster and more effective.”

“I enjoy using it for writing long essays as it is much easier to go back and edit my text.”

“It is quicker and more efficient – we cover more in lessons.”

“No work is lost or ‘forgotten’ and all notes are ready and organised for when I begin my revision.”

The project has also helped reduce anxiety of missed learning by enabling students to access all notes made in the lesson.

Subject-specific examples of technology use:

  • In core Physical Education lessons, students have been able to use video to evaluate and improve their performance in different sporting activities.
  • In Media Studies, students have cut down the time required to create media podcast content from two weeks to two days.
  • In English, MFL, Media studies and Design Technology teachers have been using audio feedback to support student learning, providing a more detailed, personalised and quicker feedback.

In addition to the educational benefits, the project has meant less photocopies as well as textbooks have been required. This has helped reduce the College’s paper consumption and printing costs, which in turn meant funds could be repurposed to other educational projects with a direct impact on student learning.

In addition, in providing digital texts for students, the College has reduced our carbon footprint with respect to use of paper/printing and shipping. For the purchase of a device there is a one-off shipping cost, compared to multiple shipping orders for printed textbooks from a variety of publishers.

Overall, the introduction of digital devices led to 517,980 less sheets of paper consumed (the equivalent of over six trees), a 39.90% reduction compared to previous level.

With all year groups now having a digital device, the College estimates there would be a further 25% reduction in the number of sheets of paper used, equating to a saving of 8.85 trees compared to 2018-19.

To support the growth with digital devices, the College appointed an additional IT Technician and introduced a student loan procedure for equipment.

Ruth Lea, Assistant Headteacher for Digital Learning, said:
“We have only just scratched the surface of the potential gains of using technology to enhance our students’ learning.  The College’s next steps will involve incorporating AI into our practice to enhance our learning further and increase efficiencies of time and resources.”

To read the full report, please click HERE.

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