Scotland Capital's Schools to Get 39,000 iPads in 'Edinburgh Learns for Life' Initiative

All school pupils in Edinburgh, Scotland, between the ages of 10 and 18 are set receive an iPad as part of the capital's "Edinburgh Learns for Life" program, the city's council has announced.

ipad student
The initiative, which begins in September and runs through to the end of 2022, will see the local government issue 27,000 new iPads to pupils and staff, and 12,000 refreshed iPads for pupils and staff.

Younger pupils will also receive iPads, however the city has yet to provide the exact number of units that will be available.

The 1:1 deployment is being made possible thanks to a £17.6 million ($24 million) grant provided by way of a partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council's ICT services provider CGI. The initiative will also provide wireless access points and a comprehensive program of professional learning for teachers.

"This is a really exciting project which is going to be a real game-changer for the learning and teaching in our schools," said councillor Ian Perry, education convener for the City of Edinburgh Council. "Giving pupils their own device has been shown to improve outcomes and result in increased engagement and motivation for our young people. It will create a learning environment which will drive higher levels of creativity also improve teacher and learner collaboration."

According to the government's website, key benefits of the Empowered Learning program for young people will include:

  • Fair and equal access from P6 to S6, ensuring all pupils have personal access to digital learning with their teacher in school or at home.
  • Effective digital workflow to increase engagement, improve teacher feedback and raise attainment.
  • A range of innovative accessibility features to improve access to the curriculum for pupils with additional support needs.
  • Pupils can work online simultaneously in a class or collaboratively outside the classroom.
  • High quality digital applications for productivity and creativity, providing more ways to personalise and choose how they learn.
  • Development of learning, thinking and digital literacy skills vital for success in today’s rapidly evolving, technological society.

The rollout meets a key element of one of the 15 outcomes and actions from the Council's three year business plan "Our Future Council, Our Future City: increasing attainment for all and reducing the poverty-related attainment gap."

The initiative highlights the increasing adoption of digital devices in education since distance learning needs increased since the global health crisis took hold.

Last August, Apple and T-Mobile announced a collaboration to provide 1 million iPads with high-speed cellular connectivity to students across California, as part of advance planning for distance learning in the next school year.

(Via AppleInsider.)

Top Rated Comments

Vado Avatar
40 months ago
It makes me proud to be born and raised in this beautiful city :)

No child should be left behind or penalised in education due to a lack of access to technology.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jimbobb24 Avatar
40 months ago
No study has ever proven that technology increases education. The few randomized studies I know of showed it makes no difference. My school gave my son a chrome book and it has enhanced me having to police his watching youtube videos instead of doing homework.

in the future we may develop machine learning teaching that can perhaps he’ll students but until then most of these initiatives are a waste of money. Of course during the pandemic adaptations have to be made which might require technology but that doesn’t make it intrinsically useful.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PeteBurgh Avatar
40 months ago
As an Edinburgh resident, I am interested to see how this goes.

A useful reference point is Fraser Speirs's work ('https://speirs.org/archive/') elsewhere in Scotland. He ran the world's first 1:1 iPad deployment programme in a school, and talked about it on a (now defunct) podcast called Canvas ('https://www.relay.fm/canvas') with iPad guru Federico Viticci. Speirs went on a decade long journey from iPad-for-education evangelist to iPad-for-education harsh critic, eventually transitioning his school over to Chromebooks.

His argument, if I remember correctly, is that whilst the hardware is mostly great, the backend system administration tools to manage large numbers of iOS/iPad OS devices either don't work reliably, or simply aren't there. Particularly odd was Apple hosting an 'education focussed' event in Chicago in 2018, yet the crucial tool for managing iPads - iTunes U are basically abandoned. I hope things have improved since!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
40 months ago

For such a small country they sure do have some very smart people, obviously with great taste too ?
Some of the greatest scientists in history were Scottish: Maxwell, Fleming, Bell, Napier, Rutherford, Lord Rankine, Cullen... these guys were either geniuses or way ahead in their fields.

Regarding the post: Apple once donated a bunch of iPads for our department, they had to be exchanged for Macs because they were nearly useless for everything we did. I related this story before here, I love my iPad but it is no where near to replace computers for serious work.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
true god Avatar
40 months ago
iPads/iPhones actually make kids and adults dumber. Just saying.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PeteBurgh Avatar
40 months ago

Ireland isn't known for top schools anyway
erm...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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