Over the next 12 months the Tablet Academy will be supporting Microsoft and a number of Windows 8 resellers to identify the needs of teachers in the classrooms in order to supply training and support, specific to Windows 8 tablets. With 40,000 surface tablets being deployed in schools across the UK over the next few months, the Tablet Academy will be there to support both the teachers and pupils of the schools.
We are really excited about the opportunities of shared knowledge and experience that this relationship will bring across our network of schools/colleges and universities. We’ll be sharing our technology integration stories with you over the next few months, so please do look out for these here as well as on our Facebook and Twitter channels.
The Tablet Academy has quickly become recognised as a leading provider of consultancy and training services in the use of mobile technologies across education. Established in December 2012 by Professor Steve Molyneux and Managing Director Mark Yorke it has taken less than 12 months for the Tablet Academy to build up a client base of over 250 schools whilst delivering pedagogy-based training on the use of tablets and associated technologies in the classroom to an estimated 6000 teachers. In the first three weeks of this term alone, over 1000 were trained as part of School INSET (In-Service Training).
With over 20 trainers including practicing teachers the Tablet Academy provide support and training for schools deploying mobile devices across the whole of the UK.
Professor Steve Molyneux the CEO of the Tablet Academy is recognised as one of the fathers of e-Learning and as such is one of the UK’s leading movers and shakers in the use of technology to transform education and training. Steve Molyneux has held other academic positions such as Microsoft Professor of Advanced Learning Technologies and IBM Professor of Information & Communication Technologies.
In an interview when explaining why the Tablet Academy was formed Professor Molyneux said:
"One of the issues with technology particularly by teachers in the classroom is fear. Fear that the technology will let them down and fear that their skills are no match for those of their pupils. Teachers have to feel comfortable, confident and competent in using technology in a teaching role before any true transformation can take place.
We have never given these skills and confidence to teachers in the past. We put PC’s in the classroom or laptops in their hands and tried to teach them the technology. In essence, we tried to turn Science teachers, History teachers and English teachers into IT experts. We never trained them in how to mould the technology to meet their needs in the classroom and potentially look at now pedagogic models. The aim of the Tablet Academy is to rectify this situation by not only providing teachers with the necessary competencies but also exploring with them new pedagogic and didactic models that can by achieved using technology in and out of the classroom."
The Tablet Academy was formerly recognised as the iPad Academy until August 2013 when it officially became the Tablet Academy. When asked why they chose to support other tablets and mobile devices Mark Yorke the Managing Director replied:
"Teaching and learning with tablets or any mobile devices is about enhancing current teaching practice by introducing technology when needed to help increase engagement or attainment. It’s not about the technology becoming the focus of the lesson; it’s about the pedagogy. We recognise that iPads have a market lead, but as good as they are in the hands of an individual child, we have found that the IOS Ecosystem does create a number challenges for schools in terms of data management, compatibility, workflow and integration. In short the iPad is not the right solution for everyone in the same way that some people prefer Biros to write with whilst other prefer fountain pens. This is why as an organisation who focus their training on teaching we will remain device agnostic so we can support schools regardless of the tablets they choose."
"There’s a feeling in schools that Apple’s dominance regarding tablets in schools is coming to an end as many schools are waiting to get their hands on the range of Windows 8 tablets emerging this Autumn. We have found that each school is different with different needs and challenges – there is no ‘one solution fits all’ solution and we want to be there to independently support schools through the decision making and implementation process."