Sydney school bans laptops: labels them 'scandalous waste of money'

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Sydney school bans laptops: labels them 'scandalous waste of money'

The Sydney Grammar School has banned students from bringing laptops to his school, despite a growing bring-your-own-device market in the education sector.

Principal John Vallance told The Australian that using devices in the classroom was a “distraction”.

“We find that having laptops or iPads in the classroom inhibit conversation — it’s distracting,” Vallance told The Australian.

“If you’re lucky enough to have a good teacher and a motivating group of classmates, it would seem a waste to introduce anything that’s going to be a distraction from the benefits that kind of social context will give you.’’

Vallance also took aim at the Rudd-Gillard government’s $2.4 billion digital education initiative used to buy laptops for high school students, calling it a “scandalous waste of money”.

“It didn’t really do anything except enrich Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard and Apple,’’ Vallance said. “They’ve got very powerful lobby influence in the educational community.’’

Sydney Grammar students still have access to computers in the schools labs and can use laptops for homework, but are required to handwrite assignments until year 10.

The prestigious Sydney school charges a $32,644 annual tuition fee and regularly leads in national literacy and numeracy tests.

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