We live in a digital age and
our students have grown up in a world where technology permeates their lives.
Their school life should reflect that fact while still maintaining a Catholic
culture of instruction and faith formation that challenges them to know and
love God. In preparing our students for their futures, there is need for a
stronger focus on a more innovative skill set; which includes creativity,
critical thinking, collaboration and communication.
Additionally, it is important to equip our students to thrive in an information-rich world. Technology is changing the way people across the globe communicate, learn and work. In order to create an engaging learning environment and effectively prepare St. Patrick students for the future, our school must embrace technology and thoughtfully integrate it into the learning process. The most important aspect of which is appropriate and ethical technology use. Simply stated, students that have the opportunity to learn and use new technologies appropriately will be stronger in school and in the global marketplace.
Thank you to Pewamo Westphalia Public Schools, Allan November of November Learning, and Chris McKenna of Protect Young Eyes for contributing information to our website.
Our One-to-One Initiative
During the 2016/17 School year St. Patrick School began a 1:1 pilot program with its freshman. During this pilot, surveys were conducted for students and teachers to monitor the progress of the program and identify advantages unique to 1:1. Studies done on the benefits of 1:1 computing have concluded there is no cost justification in buying computers for each student unless the school takes advantage of the added functions (e.g. the increase in productivity for teachers and students, more creativity, imagination, enthusiasm, and collaboration). Specifically, teachers at St. Patrick use of e-books, online ancillary resources, the Google for Education Suite, Bible Theology, Plickers and other tools helped us in this cost justification. It is important to remember that technology is more than the hardware in a classroom, but the additional tools which have provided greater collaboration and learning.
St. Patrick School is now using Google Classroom management along with Google Suite to leverage our 1:1 initiative. Google Classroom is an online platform that enhances the learning experience in the physical classroom. It is part of the Google Apps for Education suite which strives to enable paperless learning in the classroom. Google Classroom is also beneficial for parents. Teachers can share summaries of student performance with their parents and the latter can get automated email summaries of class announcements and student work.
Following is a list of the features being used by our teachers, administration and students through Google Classroom.
Features our teachers are now using:
- · Managing multiple classes—reusing existing announcements, assignments, and questions from another class. Sharing posts across multiple classes, and archiving classes for future reference.
- · Teachers are creating online classrooms, asking students to attend the class, and create and give out assignments. Learners and teachers can communicate about the assignments within the platform and teachers can monitor students’ progress.
- · Teachers are able to create individual documents for each student which allows students to progress at their own pace.
- · Using Google Calendar our teachers are able to customize assignments, add optional due dates, create customized grade values, and track which assignments are graded. They can also prepare assignments in advance or schedule them to automatically post to the class stream at the scheduled date and time. These calendar features have allowed our teachers to prepare classes for substitute teachers.
Support for Administrators:
- Professional development—St. Patrick School is committed to the Google Education Suite and will include additional training during professional development classes in the future.
- Classroom user metrics—Administrators can view classroom usage reports. The administration is now evaluating the feasibility of using these reports.
During our pilot program students enjoyed limitless access to learning, anytime and anyplace, at any pace, no longer restricted to the seven hours in school. Our student survey confirmed there was an increase in the number of hours students were using computers for classroom work as compared to the time they spent in the computer labs prior to 1:1 computing. Students also pointed out they found it easier to take notes during class. After the successful pilot program in 2016/17, this year's freshmen and junior classes (2018) were given Chromebooks on the first day of school. The sophomores kept the ones they received last year and Chromebooks were provided to seniors upon request.
The program is designed so students can use the same device throughout their high school years. Beginning with the Class of 2020, they will take it with them when they graduate and can use it for college. The Chromebook project was funded by donations from the Shamrock Auction, the Class of 1966, the PTO, and the school budget.
The infrastructure, wireless capability, and available physical devices at the school have all been updated, upgraded, replaced, and/or improved. Our expectations are to prepare all learners for the technology challenges of the future by integrating technology into our curriculum, utilizing real-time data and information by accessing greater and more accurate resources; and meeting all learners where they are and how they learn, with the focus on anytime, anyplace, any path, any pace ideals.
We hope to achieve deeper relationships with students, increased student motivation and engagement, and increased student achievement through this initiative.
Please use this page to locate the policies on our student devices and the digital citizenship content we are providing and teaching to our students to help them prepare to be responsible global citizens.