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Has Technology in the Classroom Gone Too Far?

When Quakers Hill Public School students in Sydney wanted a 3D printer to learn how software integrates with hardware, they built their own. As one of 15 schools worldwide in Intel’s Galileo learn-to-code program with its ‘electricity’ theme, the students also printed a streetlight to run cabling through. Years 5 and 6 kids then coded the light to turn on and off.

The school is a wireless hotspot with a router in every classroom, tablets used at a 1:2 device-to-student ratio (1:1 in Year 6) and three 1:1 computer labs. Teachers take the kids to the local Apple store, which even closed its doors for a one-day private session so students could learn programs like iMovie. Teachers stream content from their phones via Apple TV to interactive whiteboards and new touchscreen TVs. Old-fashioned furniture is making way for a $14,000 order of booths, stools and beanbags based on e-learning guru Stephen Heppell’s philosophy of agile learning spaces.