At Whitburn Academy, we are very keen to pursue new technology and to introduce it across the school. We have a very enthusiastic staff Technology Group, which meets every month and share ideas such as getting the best out of I-Pad technology.
Whitburn Academy currently uses almost 350 PC's, 40 laptops and 140 Netbooks. The majority of our computers are less than 5 years old, with the HP8200, HP8300, G1 and G2 models seeing use all over the school. The older Dell computers have mostly been phased out, with some Dell GX780 computers being retained, although they should mostly be replaced during 2017.
Many of the Extended Leadership Team are issued with an encrypted laptop rather than a PC.
In 2012 the school purchased 140 netbooks and 5 netbook trolleys to create a mobile classroom for each floor of the school, replacing two technology rooms which contained life expired computers. Each Faculty also has between 10 and 15 Ipads or Samsung Galaxys which make learning more interactive.
Our IT staff are made up of the Network Manager and IT/AV Technician, who work hard to maintain our Technology, from replacing and installing hardware and software to providing school wide support for over 900 pupils and 100 staff.
The school currently has 90 digital projectors in use across the school, the majority of these being newer NEC Models, whilst a small number are older Hitachi models. As the bulbs on the older projectors as their bulbs expire, we are replacing the projectors with new NEC Projectors as these are more cost efficient, have a longer bulb life (5000 hours compared to 2-3000 hours with the older projectors) and are more Eco friendly than the older models and have an Eco Mode setting on them which uses less power. We have replaced a number of older Televisions with flat screen models. We have created an information screen that displays the latest news, and some videos and photographs from around the school and introduced Apple TV's to a number of departments.
A number of departments across the school are starting to use Edmodo. Edmodo has a number of advantages that makes it a useful tool in the educational environment.
The ability to set assignments for pupils and keep a record of their work.
- The ability to give feedback to pupils on the work they have submitted.
- The ability to share resources with pupils and answer any questions they may have.
- The ability to provide them with links to interesting web sites.
- The ability to give multiple choice tests and pupils get their score back immediately, showing them what they got right and wrong.
- Pupils can also keep track of their progress and and can ask their teacher any questions related to the course.
- They can also message other pupils in the class.
- They can get access to notes and submit homework online and they have an area where they can store files rather than have to carry a usb stick.
- If they lose any notes or homework etc they can always get another copy from Edmodo.
- Parents can get a parent code from their child and be able to login and view the progress their child is making in class.
- They can view samples of their child’s work and see test and homework marks.
Click on the links below to watch a video of Edmodo in action
Whitburn Academy releases a newsletter at Christmas, Easter, Summer and October. We use Adobe InDesign and Ibooks Author on the MacBook Pro to create the Newsletter. These programs give the newsletter a more professional look and feel. We have also experimented with making an interactive newsletter by creating an I Book and creating some interactive galleries and adding in some videos. Click on the link below to go to the newsletters page.
Photographs are usually taken of most events that take place in the school. Photos are mainly taken using a Panasonic Lumix TZ 25 Compact Camera or a Fuji Finepix JV100 Compact Camera. Other camera equipment available includes tripods, light reflectors, lighting and the greenscreen. Most of the photographs on the website have been taken by our IT/AV Technician, however Pupils have also contributed by taking photographs for the website. Photos can be edited or cropped and can have effects added such as grayscale using Serif Photoplus or Google Picasa, whilst Irfanview can be used for resizing photographs.