Students trial new technology

A GIPPSLAND TAFE hopes to increase literacy and numeracy skills in students using mobile technology devices.

Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE is at the end of a project which explored the application of mobile devices in assisting disadvantaged youth in the Latrobe Valley.

Funded under the National VET e-learning Strategy, and spearheaded by GippsTAFE Innovation Department team leader Malcolm Jolly, the project has had positive results.

Using iPhones, 64 GippsTAFE students were able to "build their confidence" and showed an increase in engagement, while using free education applications on an iPhone or iPad.

"The students were highly excited, enthralled with the technology and felt privileged that they had been asked to perform such an activity," Mr Jolly said.

"Students were certainly quite engaged and often that is the starting point; students are more prepared to have a go."

Inspired to explore the use of mobile devices to cater for students in a non-traditional teaching environment, Mr Jolly first undertook the six-month project with colleagues Tanya Joiner and Natasha Hunt.

Mr Jolly said while he could not divulge the exact results of the project, he found students were more keen and eager to learn.

"The inclusion of iPads into literacy and numeracy training programs has led to increased student engagement and given teachers another effective tool to utilise," Ms Hunt said.

"Teachers are now better able to tailor programs to better meet the specific needs of students in relation to literacy and numeracy levels."

Ms Joiner on the other hand, said "we have achieved a lot however, there is so much more we need to explore and trial."

According to Mr Jolly, GippsTAFE was keen to further explore the possibilities of using mobile technology devices in their teaching method, signalling GippsTAFE's GETT centre as a possible venue to continue the trial.

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