Information and Communication Technology
Our overarching teaching and learning goal is for all of our pupils to develop to the very best of their ability physically, intellectually, emotionally, creatively, spiritually and socially in a safe and stimulating environment. The incorporation of ICT and e-learning is one of several important means through which we assist pupils to achieve this goal. We use ICT as one of a range of strategies for engaging and extending students to be successful learners and communicators. We value the potential of ICT to support students’ learning in new and complex ways. We see ICT and e-learning opportunities as valuable additions to our pedagogy. Technology is affecting the content of curriculum in nearly all subject disciplines. It is increasingly difficult to think of an academic area that is not undergoing profound changes as a result of information and communications technologies. As a result, we need to ensure our students are digitally literate and responsible and attempt to prepare them for a world where technology plays a pivotal role in all facets of life.
Website at www.scoilchroinaofaathenry.ie
We are very proud of our school website. Mrs Cronin is responsible for monitoring and updating our website. Each class teacher contributes to our popular blog which gives a great insight into the many fantastic things that we get up to in SCN.
The Evolvement of our School Website
- One of our Millennium Projects was to design a school website. The staff received professional training in the use of Information Technology. Mrs. O’Sullivan was appointed our Information Technology Co-ordinator (I.T.C.) where she took responsibility for the establishment of our website with the assistance of Scoilnet (http://www.athenryprimarypres.scoilnet.ie.) and moderated the website up to 2016.
- In 2013 the staff reviewed the website, with a view to making it more accessible and user friendly to staff and pupils. As a result, Ms. Murray added a blog facility to the website where staff contributed photos and stories from their classes on a regular basis. Mrs O Sullivan then applied for the Digital Schools Award in 2013. One of the criteria required was to have an active school website.
- In June 2014, Mrs. Cronin expressed an interest in the future of the website and did research on school websites and web designers. She selected the most popular features and characteristics in order to add them as a menu to our new website. Mrs. Cronin continues to oversee and update the website and strives to involve the school pupils in the process insofar as is possible. She is greatly supported by a parent in the school who has a background in IT. He has made several recommendations in relation to the appearance of the website.
- The staff and children are reminded regularly to view the school website on the class interactive whiteboards
We are a Digital School
The I.T. Co-Ordinator in 2013, Mary O Sullivan, applied for the Digital Schools of Distinction Award. Participation in the Digital Schools of Distinction Programme requires giving children an opportunity to enhance their learning experiences and to develop digital skills which will stand to them throughout their lives. This programme is an accreditation which primary schools can attain by demonstrating excellence in their approach to the integration of ICTA validator visited the school on the 9th of May to assess us for this new award. We were the fourth school in Co. Galway to receive the Digital Schools Award which recognizes excellence in our approach to the integration of ICT in learning, teaching and in administration. To achieve a Digital Schools Award, our school was requested to fulfil a number of criteria under the following headings: Leadership & Vision, ICT in the Curriculum, School ICT Culture, Professional Development and Resources & Infrastructure Other Requirements included a visit from an assessor, the submission of an E-Learning Policy, Acceptable User Policy, a completed Schools Self Evaluation Tool and evidence of a website.In 2014, we secured a second award called the Digital Schools of Distinction Award, in acknowledgement of our high standards as an e-learning school.
Each classroom in SCN is equipped with an Interactive Whiteboard. An interactive whiteboard is a large touch sensitive board connected to an additional projector and computer. Teachers can control how the lessons are displayed on the screen and can add notes, images, audio and video files with continuous internet access to make it more engaging for today’s children. Each classroom also is equipped with a cordless keyboard and mouse which enable children to use technology interactively. Children in the senior classes have the opportunity to use the internet with the consent of their parents.
We have incorporated an iPad station in Literacy Lift Off and Mathsblast to allow the pupils to consolidate skills/concepts they have learned.
We also have ‘Paired iPad’ sessions in SCN where a senior class buddy with a younger class to explore interesting and fun apps together….