09 May 2019

EdTech 50 names John Lyon in UK-wide list of leading digital innovation schools

EdTech 50

An EdTech list of 50 schools at the forefront of digital innovation in education has included John Lyon, praised for its successful use of technology in the classroom.

Created by the Education Foundation and backed by Intel, Jisc, NetSupport, The Chartered College of Teaching, Independent Schools Council and TES, with the support of Government, the list of 50 schools demonstrates and celebrates the pioneering use of technology to support learning and make a difference to the success of each child in the classroom.

In the EdTech 50 publication, launched in the House of Lords on Wednesday 8th May 2019, it states: “John Lyon School’s digital strategy is informed by its wider values. It fully embraces technology, but it is only used when it enhances learning outcomes.

“The school has successfully implemented a Bring Your Own Device policy for all students, with content increasingly delivered and assessed online with a wide range of media. General impact on learning has been positive at a number of levels, with students taking more ownership and responsibility for their learning and freeing up staff time.

“Practicalities around bringing their own device, maintaining it, and using it appropriately has fostered close staff/student collaboration, including providing a springboard for discussions around online safety and healthy device use.”

It goes on to note the creation of a new Digital Innovation Space within the School, which has been designed and furnished by pupils, and will be used to encourage learning in non-traditional ways, such as experimenting with virtual reality and robotics and also give students an opportunity to learn about technology and issues which fall outside of the scope of their lessons, something seen as vital as we ‘cannot predict exactly what developments will occur in the future.’

Writing in TES, the Director of The Education Foundation and EdTech UK, Ty Goddard said: “The list of 50 institutions highlights digital flagship schools that demonstrate a focused sense of what is useful to them in terms of technology – whether it be in supporting teaching, cutting teacher workload, collaboration across staff teams or consolidating knowledge, enhancing creativity and broadening experiences across the curriculum. There is a priority on safety and security, too; with mature and patient dialogue with pupils seen as important.”

“There’s a verve and commitment across these edtech champions, and they deserve real praise.”

Bring Your Own Device has proven a great success at John Lyon since its full implementation in September 2018, with all 600 pupils now having use of a laptop or other similar portable device in the classroom.

Designed to complement traditional teaching and learning methods in the classroom, BYOD is used only when teachers believe the use of devices will enhance boys’ learning experiences and support them in their use of technology whilst preparing for future study and the world of work.

John Lyon’s  Head of Digital Learning, Dr Jack Honeysett, said: “Both students and teachers have made excellent use of devices in lessons to access online resources such as textbooks, research, complete collaborative projects on OneNote and online content like quizzes and assessments.

“Pupils have reported they prefer learning using more technology as it is becoming a larger part of their lives, and practically it also saves them having to carry as much paper around with them, as much note-taking can be done directly onto their device.”

A new Digital Society has seen students meeting regularly to discuss the future direction of digital issues at John Lyon. They have already looked into the use of virtual reality headsets as well contributing ideas to the design of a new Digital Innovation Space. There have also been Digital Parenting Seminars help advise parents on issues related to their sons’ devices, including online safety and parental controls. More dates will be announced in due course.