updated 10:50 am EDT, Fri April 28, 2006
Macs, academic turnaround
A school in the UK which recently boasted 100 percent GCSE passes credits its technology infrastructure -- which relies heavily on Apple systems -- as a major contribution to the exam results. Wildern School in Hampshire is home to more Macs than any other school in England, and recently won the government's Future Vision Award for use of technology in its curriculum. In 1997, seven percent of Wildern's departing students had no GCSE qualification, and boys' achievements, as in many schools, were lagging behind those of girls. Many classrooms at the school now link to interactive whiteboards, and the number of Macs has grown incrementally within a school-wide wireless environment. "We have every type of Apple hardware with a full range of video and audio tools," said the school's head, Jeffery Threlfall. "Once youngsters get their hands on a Mac they don't want to go back to PCs. They like the intuitive nature of the system, as well as the modern design-led look... and they love the software."
Wildern also installed a Mac-based learning environment in a new 17-classroom building used for Science, English and ICT. The building is entirely wireless, with AirPort Extreme Base Stations supporting PowerBooks. The infrastructure is controlled by four Apple Xserves and an Xserve RAID system, which also manages the school's older PCs, according to Apple.