Apple technologies have been essential to a new experiment to deliver customised learning tools to an innovative UK school.
Bryanston School in Dorset has used Macs for 15 years and sees great potential in Etech Group's award-winning Studywiz system, an online learning environment that the school claims has "turned learning on its head".
The system was built using Apple's WebObjects technology. Andrew Barnes, head of ICT at Bryanston described the system as a "push technology".
"It's pushed in a time-sensitive way. For instance, what students see on Monday morning will be different from what they see on Tuesday afternoon, when the answers to an exam might be posted," he explained.
Students log in to Studywiz using Safari on eMacs and iMacs in the school labs or on their own Mac portables. They can access a range of educational resources, such as video and audio files, photos, books and more.
The feedback loop for pupil achievement is significantly boosted because parents can access the system to check how well their children are doing. Each student can be offered a customised learning process, all based around the existing syllabus.
Support for the scheme is cheap: the school uses 22 servers and supports 1,000 clients - but has just two tech support staff.
Barnes explains: "I've worked in schools all over the world that used PCs, and I've never worked with just two tech support people! With PCs, you need a whole crew who continuously 'firefight' your systems."