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Falkirk Council's Connected Falkirk project has delivered almost 12,000 iPads to schools, with all devices expected to be in the hands of pupils by end of November.

The remaining 6,300 of 18,000 devices bought through the ambitious project will be distributed over the next three months.

Super-fast Internet lines and Wi-Fi has also been installed and is live in 56 out of 58 of our schools, with the remaining two schools expected to be live this month (September).

Uploading change

Connected Falkirk aims to transform learning and teaching across the Falkirk Council area using digital technology as a tool.

Through the provision of devices to both pupils and staff and improved digital infrastructure across the school estate, learning experiences will be redefined and educational outcomes improved.

To date, £7.9m of the £12.3m capital funding approved to implement the project has been invested in devices, rollout, connectivity and Wi-Fi.

Connected Falkirk is an integral part of the Succeed Today, Excel Tomorrow(STET) programme of work, which sits within the Council of the Future (COTF) change programme.

Overcoming challenges

Pupils using an iPad in class

Pictured: Pupils using an iPad during a lesson.

At a meeting of Falkirk Council Falkirk Council’s Education, Children & Young Person Executive on 14 September, Elected Members will hear how the project team had worked hard to minimise hold ups caused by:

  • pupil bubbles and enhanced cleaning reducing the number of deployment sessions each day
  • additional SQA assessments restricting access to secondaries in May and June
  • worldwide technical issues with the software used to build devices

Even faced with significant challenges caused by the pandemic, the full iPad rollout will be completed just three months later than anticipated at the outset.

New resources

Members will also learn that Apple TV devices have now started to be installed in schools.

The wireless devices, fitted to TV and display technology already in classrooms, will help teachers deliver lessons without the need to share devices or use cables. It is expected all 1,000 Apple TV devices will be in place end of December.

While training continues to be offered to teaching staff, including dedicated professional learning sessions, new tutorials, lesson ideas and resources shared over Twitter and added to the Connected Falkirk website.

Watch David Mackay, Head of Education, and Connected Falkirk Project Sponsor, present the Connected Falkirk update at the Education, Children & Young Person Executive on YouTube. The live meeting starts at 10am on Tuesday, 14 September.

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