Dollar Academy (Scotland) completely switched to Prowise
After having used a mix of hardware and software programs, Dollar Academy has developed a strategy to standardise digital resources in use. Prowise products provide a core resource for many areas of the school. Director of IT, John Hughes, tells us about the improvements and how Dollar Academy’s teaching staff adapted to their new technology.
Dollar Academy is one of Scotland’s largest and best performing schools. It prides itself in providing an education that meets the highest standards and focuses on encouraging the individual talents, interests and ambitions of all its pupils. Founded in 1818, it is the world’s oldest co-educational day and boarding school. They play an active role in charity fundraising, supporting their local community and further afield. At Dollar, each student is provided with a positive and supportive learning environment in which to shine.
Over the course of time, Dollar Academy has been equipped with a mix of interactive whiteboards and other technologies. Also the software used by teachers and students was a mix of different programmes. “The solution going forward is to standardise the hardware and software being used by the teaching staff. This will healp ease the support and training overhead for the IT department.”
After John visited the Prowise stand during BETT 2018, he was surprised by the possibilities of the interactive and inclusive solutions Prowise had to offer. After a demonstration of a Prowise Touchscreen on a tiltable lift system, the solution was placed at the school on loan for evaluation purposes.
The new technology had to meet the following requirements:
- Accessibility and inclusion for all pupils
- Quality display and sound
- Effective learning tools
- Software that opens legacy files from other whiteboard software
John put together a plan for the refresh of old legacy interactive whiteboards across the school, over a five year period. This will be completed in phases, replacing old solutions with a range of different Prowise solutions to provide a standardised experience for staff and an enhanced experience for pupils. One of the focus areas for the school is digital learning and inclusion.
Added value of lift systems
“The flexible lift systems really add a lot of value to the touchscreen solution”, says John. “For instance, we have a lot of 75” touchscreens on an iPro Wall Lift. This is absolutely superb as it allows for the screen to be elevated to be seen clearly, and lowered so that younger pupils can access it. The iPro Tilt and Toddler lift enable the tabletop mode, which is perfect for the youngest pupils to interact with the screen.”
Free educational software
All teaching staff now also switched to the free interactive whiteboard software Prowise Presenter, which has a rich media library suitable for all subjects in primary and secondary education.
- “After teaching for the first three days of lockdown, to 26 children online, I am so thankful for Prowise. I organised my lessons using Prowise Presenter and shared my screen annotations whilst the children saw me do it on their screens. Prowise products support me to be an accomplished teacher. Tough times during lockdown, but I feel I can do it with such good resources! ” Monika, Teacher
- “The 'Lesson of the week' on Prowise software is really useful and we use this a lot for topical lessons and current affairs.” Lisa, Teacher
- “Interactive lessons where pupils can adapt and submit work that then appears on the screen has been very popular. I particularly like the mind map tool, fantastic for revision and for collating thoughts on a controversial issue.” Alastair, Head of Geography.