Creating the proper environment
It was essential to the project to create the proper infrastructural environment. The high school already had digital boards, computers, and internet access in each classroom. However, management still had to provide a separate, wider bandwidth Wi-Fi for the digital class alongside the existing Wi-Fi nework available in the entire building.
Lévay is fortunate enough to have innovative teaching staff all set to grow and develop, and supportive school management to ensure the necessary conditions to make the transition to the digital class smooth and easy. Students and parents were initiated into the process through an open house, where the school presented the new methodology and its aims and objectives. Parents were requested to give feedback through a questionnaire. Most of the feedback was positive.
For students, the most significant benefit was the potential for immediate feedback on homework solutions. Another popular piece of feedback was that the digital tools supported the students in their preparations for the future and are also motivating for students who are more keen on dealing with homework if they can do so on digital means. Since the course material was online, students could follow the curriculum when they were absent due to illness. And througout the course, students received training on the safe use of the internet, including how to recognize fake news.
“We consider our first year a success,” says Tóth. “The teachers enjoyed working with the new methods and most of the students adjusted well. The academic achievement of the class is similar to the high standards of our previous six-year classes. However, the accomplishments of our work here are not necessarily reflected in specific marks. Our aim is to develop skill sets for the 21st century along with digital competence. The kids are apt at handling their computers and apps. Cooperation and individually tailored teaching and learning are also well under way. Another benefit of the program is that the students have built a good reputation for the class, which in turn has increased the number of applicants for next year’s digital class.”