iPads at ACG

Receive an iPad free of charge for the duration of your study time.

Ipads at ACG

ACG Pathways Campus embraces mobile technology as an integral tool for learning.

When you enrol in an English language course or a university foundation studies programme at the ACG Pathways Campus, you will receive an iPad free of charge for the duration of your study time*. You will have full access to a complete set of study materials via the iPad. 

Over the past 2 years, the ACG Pathways Campus has been trialling the use of iPads with a number of students in different classes within the campus. After careful consideration, it has been decided that all ACG Pathways Campus students will be provided an iPad as a learning tool. 



We live in an age where teachers are no longer the ‘keepers of the knowledge’. An incredible amount of knowledge is available to everyone who has a connection the internet. A teacher’s role is critical in helping students find the best sources of knowledge and learn what to do with it. That’s why ACG appoints highly experienced, trained, registered teachers – they know what they are doing and can give the best guidance to students to help them achieve their goals.

Mobile technology allows for the expansion of the classroom and for learning to be possible anytime, anywhere. By using MyACG (Blackboard), students have access to all of their resources and can be learning any time of the day or night.

An important step was to decide on one device only. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is fraught with problems, especially from the perspective of students coming from all over the world to study at ACG. Different operating systems, different filing systems, different languages… these and more spell trouble as teachers could end up spending more time trying to sort out problems than providing an environment for learning. Therefore, one common device for everyone is the best solution.

Apple set the standard with the introduction of the iPad. Apple has an excellent reputation in the area of education. Other manufacturers of mobile devices may come up with variations on the iPad, but with 300,000 Apps available, the iPad has a largeselection of tools to help a student learn.  We are not the first to make this move, so there is lots of valuable information and research already available.

We’ve learned a lot of lessons over the past few years – yes, we are learners too!

  • Using mobile technology can bring a pedagogical shift in learning where collaboration is encouraged and there is a greater student focus. We saw this happen with the very first trial in  ACG English School.
  • The teacher plays a key role in learning,- not only through their teaching, but through the interactions they have with students in providing welfare, guidance and advice.
  • Students see the teacher as critical to their learning. It is the teacher who provides the reassurance to students that what is being learned is relevant and appropriate to the level of study.
  • International Foundation students need to realise the importance of using time outside of class for learning if they are to more quickly integrate into what a university environment expects of them and how they use their time (their success or otherwise at university may hinge on this point). Mobile learning can play a big part in this.
  • Specifying one type of device is best – technical, teacher IT expertise, consistency.
  • Textbooks are heavy and students either want a safe place to leave them at school or not bring them to school at all.
  • The current mode of learning focuses a great deal on the learning of content with little time left to look at the process of learning.
  • English Language remains a key part to success.

Ultimately, we want to do the best we can to successfully prepare students for the world they face in the future. This means preparing them for university and preparing them for life outside of and after university. We want students to know how to be responsible users of technology and Foundation is the right place to learn this rather than waiting until students get to university where there is not as much guidance at a personal level on appropriate use.

The majority of the international students we have at the ACG Pathways Campus are good consumers of information but struggle when it comes to production. They can read, but struggle with writing; they can listen, but struggle with speaking. They can memorise, but struggle with processing, interpreting and reproducing in their own words. These skills are essential at university and need to be learned before they get there. That makes it our responsibility.

Students need to realise they can do more than just homework and assignments outside of the classroom. There is opportunity for learning and understanding to be happening any time of the day. Having a mobile device with Apps and access to the internet opens a whole new realm of possibilities.

If we can encourage students to be better producers and if learning takes place more and more outside the classroom as well as in class, then it would seem likely that more has been learned.

There is no direct cost to ACG students. Previously, students have spent money on a range of textbooks, all of which are essential to their learning. Instead of buying physical textbooks, students now pay for the use of electronic textbooks and resources as well as a number of Apps on the iPad. The cost of these resources is similar to what the average student would pay previously. The payment is not for the iPad but the use of the many resources on the iPad that they can interact with.

At the start of the course each student is given an Equipment Loan Contract to read and sign. In the event of loss (including theft) or damage to the iPad and/or the apps installed on it, the student agrees to get the iPad repaired, replace it with another in good repair or pay for the replacement cost of the iPad and apps.

Since the iPad is owned by ACG, student insurance cannot be used to cover the loss or damage.

There is no bond to pay. We don’t want to burden every student with more cost to cover the unlikely loss or damage of the iPad. Instead, the Loan Agreement sets out what needs to be done should the iPad be lost, stolen or damaged.

One of the reasons for ACG owning the iPad is so that there is greater control over its use. Students don’t have access to the iTunes store and therefore the apps they have access to are those that have been determined to be of value to their learning.

Access to the internet is available so there is the possibility of distraction from social networking. One of our aims is to teach students to be responsible users of the internet. Rather than taking the iPad off a student for misuse of the device in class, we want to help students become self-disciplined so that when they reach university they can monitor and regulate their own use of social networking and gaming.

A student pays for the resource material at the start of their course, not the iPad, so there is no extra cost for having a School iPad than having their own iPad – the cost is for the e-texts and apps. It is better for a student to keep their own iPad for their personal use outside of class and use the School iPad for specific educational use.

Student marks are an approximate measure of their ability to recall and show understanding of information, apply knowledge, analyse and evaluate information. How much marks are improved is dependent, to some extent, on how much students are better able to engage with information and find meaning in it. As this occurs, it would seem logical that learning is enhanced. Hopefully, assessment will in some way give reward for that learning through an improvement in marks.

See “Why mobile technology?”

The iPad is one tool that is employed for assisting learning. It is a powerful tool in the right hands and guided by the right people. The teacher plays a big role in the learning process, not only through their teaching, but through the interactions they have with students in providing welfare, guidance and advice.

The iPad is a tool that in the classroom is thought of as being in the service of pedagogy. It is what teachers do with the device, not the device itself that has the potential to transform learning. The teacher is central and critical to learning and this remains the focus of who we are and what we do in preparing young people for the future.


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ACG Pathways Campus

Address: 345 Queen Street,

Auckland, New Zealand


Phone:+64 9 307 5399

Fax: +64 9 377 7125