In May 2011, ten year old Verity Walker, from St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Collier Row, took first place in the nationwide Happy Art Competition, after her artwork was selected from 7,844 entries. In addition to bagging herself a netbook to take home, Verity won a brand new ClassBuddy™ laptop charging trolley from LapSafe® Products, complete with five netbooks, for her classroom.
As part of her prize, Verity’s drawing of ‘something that makes her happy’ was transferred onto the front doors of the ClassBuddy™ as a permanent reminder of her talent. Olivia Paton, Headteacher at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, said: “Our pupils and teachers love the ClassBuddy™, and especially seeing Verity’s drawing on it every day. We are so proud of Verity’s success and our prize that we have shown the trolley to many of the pupils’ parents. “Our teachers like the look of the ClassBuddy™ because it is so eye-catching, but they also find it easy to use. It is simple to take out and replace the netbooks on the trolley’s shelves for storage, and the unit is easy to wheel around the school. Sometimes technology can be very complicated, but, with the ClassBuddy™, we can just plug in the netbooks and be assured that they will charge because the AC adaptors are stored inside the unit.”
In addition to the trolley’s simplicity, teachers at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School have also been impressed by the health and safety features of the ClassBuddy™. Olivia continued: “We like the fact that the ClassBuddy™ has just one power lead at the rear because this reduces the amount of wires that pupils could trip over. My staff feel confident using the trolley because it is independently CE Certified and are reassured that it will protect our new netbooks; the computers lay flat on the storage shelves of the ClassBuddy™, so we don’t need to worry about them getting knocked down and damaged when we move the cabinet around school.”
Children at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School now use their new netbooks in literacy lessons on a regular basis. According to Olivia: “For our more reluctant writers, we’ve found using the netbooks very helpful.
“Writing can be a difficult task for some children, particularly SEN pupils or those with behavioural issues, but using the netbooks can make literacy easier and enjoyable. We’ve also been using the netbooks as a reward for hard work and good behaviour, and the computers have really helped boost motivation.”
With their new ClassBuddy™, pupils at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School can now use netbooks in any classroom around their school. As Olivia concludes: “Although we cannot know exactly what weird and wonderful technology young people will use when they eventually enter employment, we can begin to develop their ICT skills now by encouraging children to use computers from a young age. Using mobile ICT is an essential part of this, and I would recommend the ClassBuddy™ to any school, because the trolley provides a safe and easy to use storage area.”
In 2016 the LRC team at Exeter College decided to introduce a self-issue laptop service.
TAFE SA is South Australia’s largest vocational education and training (VET) provider.