Education is investing in the future. Acer see it as their responsibility to equip children and young people with the knowledge and products they need in the increasingly digital future.
Each year since 2015 Acer has conducted the Complete Classroom Makeover in the Netherlands. In this competition primary schools are challenged to show in a video how a classroom can be transformed through the use of digital devices such as laptops and tablets and how children can better learn digital skills.
The Acer Complete Classroom Makeover 2017 was proudly won by Primary school OBS De Opslach of Franeker (NL), and the prize was made up by 30 TravelMate laptops, allowing this school to take a major step towards further improvement and modernization of the education, and allowing its students to be better prepared for their future.
The process of modernization had already started
Primary school OBS De Opslach has over 200 pupils and since 2013 has been housed in a brand-new building, along with a nursery school and a school for secondary education. Headmistress Hanneke Reitsma tells that her school is in the middle of a modernization process. Last year, for instance, they implemented the Da Vinci method, a thematic approach which stimulates world orientation through children’s enthusiasm for exploration.
‘This process is in full swing, and it is clear that the school has become a much more dynamic place. The ability of the children to make final presentations, for example, has greatly improved. This will benefit their overall development,’ says Reitsma.
The IT infrastructure was not enough for teachers and students’ needs
IT and the digital transition had already been introduced at OBS De Opslach some time ago. Various evolutionary steps had been made since 2013: at the end of 2017, each classroom had 3 desktop computers and one large, multifunctional Prowise touchscreen, with associated software; another 20 computers were available in the school’s dedicated ‘learning plazas’.
So the whole school had a total of around 50 desktops, but the principal felt that was too few. Because the current learning methods assume that assignments are completed on the computer, students often have to wait for each other to do their tasks and exercises, so having the pupils complete a computer-based arithmetic test could even take several days.
The great chance: the Acer Complete Classroom Makeover
In November 2017, Reitsma received the Acer Complete Classroom Makeover brochure, and Colette Oving, teacher for group 7/8, immediately saw the possibilities and became the driving force behind her school’s submission. She managed to come up with an idea and record, edit and submit the three-minute-long prize-winning video entry all within a week.
The concept of this video was to show the development of education over the centuries, as seen through a child’s eyes. The scenario consisted of a timeline starting with prehistory, through the Greeks and Romans, the Middle Ages and the profound influence of the Ot en Sien Dutch children’s book series to the present. Pupils act out the different phases in the history of education through brief sketches.
The last shot is the situation at the end of 2017. Bored children sit with crossed arms in the classroom because they have to wait for their turn at the computer to finish their test. ‘The essence of what the children have shown is that we need more computers to do more with our education’ says Oving.
TravelMate Spin B1, an ideal solution for education
The prize for the Acer Complete Classroom Makeover 2017 contest consisted of 30 TravelMate Spin B1 laptops running Windows 10 Pro. This TravelMate is specially designed for education; it features a compact design, is powerful and robust and has a nice 11.6″ Full HD touchscreen. The 13-hour battery life and water-resistant enclosure make it very handy for use in the classroom.
The screen of the TravelMate Spin B1 can rotate 360° and be used in four modes. It recognizes multi-touch gestures and features an Acer Active Pen. With the standard built-in support for Windows Ink (a digital notepad that allows you to work in Office programs) students can easily sketch ideas, complete school assignments and view multimedia content.
The pupils’ satisfaction was the best prize
The school is overjoyed with the win, because they can now take a big step in improving the quality of education. The TravelMates were delivered at the beginning of March and put to use straight away. For the arithmetic tests, obviously, but thereafter also for current events, spelling, geographical exploration, drawing lessons, writing reports, etc. Reitsma says the number of uses is growing every day: ‘We are continuously discovering new possibilities with the systems. Teachers help each other and sometimes even get tips from the kids’.
Oving says a great feature is that the TravelMates allow all the pupils to log into a digital whiteboard during a whole-class lesson, making it possible to conduct a spelling contest for example. The whiteboard shows a chart with the results, for example. This enhances the children’s involvement, interaction and adaptive capacity in a playful way.
The systems are very popular with the children of OBS De Opslach. In fact, they like them so much that they often want to stay after school to work on them.