Developing technology for the future of education at St Thomas’ Primary School
Acer and Microsoft have been at the forefront of developing technology that adapts to the ever-changing education landscape needs. Aside from improving student engagement and learning outcomes, technological advancements now allow schools to better cater to the needs of diverse students and navigate challenges such as the recent pandemic.
Recently, both companies have collaborated on a solution well suited for primary school students, combining the new Windows 11 SE and the TravelMate B3. With Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) facilitation, St Thomas’ Primary School has been involved in a pilot program to help Microsoft fine-tune their new operating system.
St Thomas’ Primary School
Established in 1908 by the Presentation Sisters, St Thomas’ is a co-educational single-stream Catholic primary school in Claremont, a western suburb of the Perth metropolitan area. The school seeks to educate for the future by empowering its students as global citizens who are curious, collaborative, creative and critical thinkers inspired by Christ.
“We want to empower our learners as global citizens. Global citizenship is so important for the children of the future, and we see technology as being one of the most important factors in that”
Natalia Thomson, Principal of St Thomas’ Primary School
The Acer TravelMate B3 and Microsoft Windows 11 SE Pilot Program
The introduction of the TravelMate B3 laptops with the new Windows 11 SE was a big hit with St Thomas’ Year 6 students. “The kids were extremely excited, and they were dancing on the ceiling. And so, the first few weeks, it was nothing but the laptops,” says Lila Gibbs, the Year 6 teacher at St Thomas’ Primary School. In this trial program, the TravelMate B3 laptops have hit all the right notes, meeting the needs of the Year 6 students at St Thomas’. “It’s the right weight. It’s the right size. It’s got the right physical characteristics,” conveys Ben. “Students can be uncompromising with their computer technology. They get thrown in bags. They get left on floors, and the laptops here have stood up really well to the day-to-day rigours that the students have thrown at them.”
Similarly, the Windows 11 SE platform has provided a great learning experience for the students. “It’s lightweight. It’s just got what they need. There’re no distractions. The core toolset is there. The collaboration tools are built into the laptop and what we saw here at St Thomas’ is students gravitating to the device because it meets their needs,” comments Ben.
Additionally, the TravelMate B3 laptops with Windows 11 SE have allowed students to continue learning regardless of location. “What I witnessed over the trial this year with the Acer laptops is that through COVID, we’ve had students at home, students in the class, students learning outside the classroom, but the teacher was able to continue that learning journey, regardless of where the students were each and every day,” articulates Ben. “The technology platforms stood up and allowed learning to be seamless and continuous.