Inspire Learning’s mission is to deliver educational transformation, while improving the lives of teachers and students for the better through the use of technology. Launched in September 2019 at Selkirk High School, Inspire Learning has given over 13,500 iPads to students and teachers in the Scottish Borders now covering every school in the region.
Each iPad is loaded with a select number of approved educational apps with Procreate being the principle creative application thanks to its ease of use and ability to grow in scope as the student’s skills develop. Procreate offers the flexibility to allow students to progress from beginner through to professional in their educational journey and learn at their own pace.
While similar programmes exist at individual schools, Inspire Learning is the first of its kind to offer a digital education programme at scale and across an entire regional area. Inspire Learning provides a wholistic approach not just to learning, but also in how they engage with the wider community. The programme is inclusive of local businesses, parents, teachers and students with a long-term aim to promote better education in the Scottish Borders and ultimately to help regenerate the region.
The iPad was chosen to avoid technology being used for pure content consumption, and to help place creativity at the heart of the learning experience. There are no mandated hours per week dedicated to digital learning. Instead, Inspire Learning’s mantra is, ‘If technology helps make learning better, use it. If it doesn’t, then don’t.’
Inspire Learning thought Procreate was a great creative fit for the programme with one of the leads of the Inspire Programme, Andrew Jewell saying ‘Procreate was chosen as the best option not just from an art point of view, but also for its ability to inject creativity into all subjects and push the boundaries of what an iPad can do.’
Educators are encouraged to figure out where technology fits best in their existing curriculum and to share their successes with others. Teachers discover how to use the technology along with other relevant professional development through the Inspire Learning Academy. The Academy also helps share and highlight best practice and teachers doing great things with their new tools. Having launched in August, the Academy already has 600 teachers enrolled with more signing up every day.
Procreate will also be helping teachers understand what is possible through the Learn with Procreate resources along with hands on assistance. Inspire Learning wants its partnership with Procreate to be more than just using the app, bringing Procreate in as part of the Inspire Learning team. Sharing the results from the programme is important so that both parties can learn, grow and improve their respective educational offerings.
One of the most attractive aspects of the partnership for Procreate was the equity of access Inspire Learning gives to every young person in the Scottish Borders. The programme solves an age-old educational problem by providing children from all walks of life with a level playing field and the best tools for bringing education to life. Inspire Learning has created a platform where every student has access to a range of education and services they previously may not have had. Even unforeseen areas such as mental health have come into play during lock down with over 5000 students accessing services remotely via Inspire Learning's iPads.
It is this ‘whole-of-life’ approach to education and student wellbeing that is proving to be one of the major strengths of the Inspire Learning programme. With the aim of setting a world-class example of educational transformation and giving children the tools they need to thrive, Inspire Learning and Procreate look positively toward the future and seeing what the students and teachers of the Scottish Borders create together.